Saturday, September 26, 2020
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Howard Co. wants you to report bullying, cyberbullying

A new online bullying reporting system has been launched in Howard County, Md., the Baltimore Sun reports. “To truly combat this issue of bullying, it takes a village,” County Executive Ken Ulman was quoted as saying.

In addition to a website, hoco.sprigeo.com, where nationwide visitors can report instances of bullying, cyberbullying, or other intimidation, officials have also installed cameras in about 100 school buses so far, with 111 additional buses expected to get the equipment soon, enabling a better investigation of bullying. The second-most common venue for bullying is on school buses, according to Superintendent of Schools Renee Foose, who used to drive school buses.

According to the report, about 250 locations in Howard County are already in the system, but visitors can specify another location, even if it’s not on the pre-loaded list. The system will automatically send a report to people in charge at that facility or location, and it is this kind of cooperation and collaboration that is unique to the system in Howard County. Mr Ulman was quoted as saying the “Stand Up HoCo” campaign, was the first in the nation to take on bullying at the community level.

Attendees of the launch announcement on Oct 25 included the mother of Grace McComas, a 15-year-old Glenelg High School sophomore who committed suicide in 2012 after ongoing cyberbullying. The Sun quoted one county council member as saying that Grace was “a force for good, a force for change and a force for transformation in this county.”

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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