Play teaches lessons about cyberbullying

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Posted: Saturday, October 26, 2013 12:00 am

Completely KIDS is using theatrical performances to highlight the dangers and proper response to cyberbullying for area fifth- and sixth-graders.

“Sometimes you start things and you can’t control them,” students are told during the newest prevention education play from the nonprofit. “Other people spin too, and after a while everybody involved gets dizzy.”

Completely KIDS will bring that play, “The Internet Safety Squad 5.6,” to Tara Heights Elementary School in Papillion on Nov. 8 and St. Mary’s Catholic Grade School in Bellevue on Nov. 15.

The play teaches youth to avoid the “viral spiral” of cyberbullying and how to respond to negative posts on social media.

Cyberbullying has received more attention lately following the death of Rebecca Sedwick in Florida, who experts believe committed suicide after being cyberbullied by 15 girls.

“It’s so important for kids to know when to turn to an adult for, and if the bullying continues, to save the posts and e-mails for evidence,” Carmen Bunde, a prevention education specialist for Completely KIDS, said in a press release.

Bunde said parents need to help their children develop friendships with peers with shared values, hobbies and interests.

“Students are often hesitant to tell school staff or parents of trouble online for fear of losing access to the technology,” Bunde said. “Therefore ‘real’ friends become a huge asset in safeguarding a student from feeling isolated and increasing his or her resilience to cyberbullying.”

Completely KIDS offers two other interactive plays and two presentations that address Internet safety and child sexual abuse prevention.

The nonprofit charges $350 for the plays and $100 for the presentation, and they can be booked by calling 402-397-5809.

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