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Westport Workshops To Fight Cyber-Bullying

Westport student Alye Pollack helped shine a national spotlight on bullying after she posted an anti-bullying video on YouTube in March. But even before then, bullying was something Westport has been fighting.

In continuing that fight, Westport Youth Services with the Anti-Defamation League is holding two training workshops geared toward helping students stand up to cyber-bullying. “Funded by a generous grant from AT&T, the Anti-Defamation League is launching a new program on cyber-bullying for middle and high school students called, CyberALLY,” Youth Services Coordinator Elaine Daignault announced Wednesday.

The first CyberALLY workshop, for middle school students, will be held Wednesday, April 27, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Toquet Hall Teen Center. The high school CyberALLY workshop will be held Tuesday, May 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Westport Town Hall.

During these three-hour workshops, Daignault said students will learn how to identify and help prevent cyber-bullying by becoming cyber-allies. The CyberALLY program, created by the league's A World of Difference Institute, also aims to increase understanding of cyber-bullying; promote safety and inclusion in online forums; and explore connections between cyber-bullying, bias-motivated behavior and online activity.

Daignault said the Anti-Defamation League, which annually trains Westport teachers and students to be facilitators and intervene when they see bullying, selected Westport as the first community in Fairfield County to participate in this program.

Students from grades 6 to 12 are invited to participate in a CyberALLY workshop. Interested students can register by contacting Elaine Daignault at 203-341-1165 or via email.

Does the CyberALLY program sound like an effective approach to help prevent bullying?

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