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Kern County HS students fight cyberbullying

Posted at 11:23 PM, Feb 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-28 02:23:36-05

The battle against cyberbullying in Kern County is being held by eight high school seniors from various high schools.

The students are part of the Dream Builders program and have created the "You're Worth More" campaign to raise awareness about the bullying. 

"Cyberbullying is when you attack someone online," said Chandler Beck, a senior at Stockdale High School.

"It doesn't have to be a physical threat. It could be something that just hurts their feelings."

The group conducted a survey and found that 76% of Kern County high school students have either been directly cyberbullied or know someone who has experienced it.

They have created a website and video to help parent, teachers and students learn about cyberbullying and ways to stop it.

The group also has created a curriculum for high school teachers to use to engage their students in activities that teach them about cyberbullying.

"Students will see pictures of people they don't know and they are asked to write down their first impressions," said Julia Castro, a senior at Centennial High School.
 
"Then, later they are asked to read them out loud. It's so easy to write something down without thinking but when you have to say it out loud or face to face, it really becomes more real and the students see that and understand how harsh their words can be."
 
The group hopes that the curriculum will be approved in time for next school year.

While three out of every four students has experienced cyberbullying is some fashion, according to the group, parents are lagging behind on the awareness of the bullying.

"Only seven percent of parents are concerned with it, which is alarmingly low," said Jordan Holmes, a senior at Highland High School.

"It's surprising how few parents are concerned about it," said Beck.

"Some people have the mentality that you just turn off your phone, but in reality, it's a really psychological problem."

To learn more about how these students are working to stop cyberbulling, visit their website at www.youreworthmore.org.