How to Region 8 Schools Protect Kids from Cyber Bullying?

January 23, 2007 -- Posted at 6:25 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- The Arkansas State Legislature is working on a bill to protect children both in the classroom and on the computer.

A bill has been approved by the Arkansas House to require schools to include "cyber bullying" in their school bullying policies.  The state senate still has to approve the measure.

"As far as we are concerned the kids are safe here," said Vernon DuBar.

In Region 8 schools technology is everywhere, but still internet use is under a microscope.

"If we have kids on the computers we have a teacher inside the classroom that is monitoring what they do," said DuBar.

The e-mail accounts of students and staff are monitored while they're on the school server. Chat rooms, instant messaging, and message boards are blocked on campus.

But with a classroom full of students, cyber bullying can still happen.

In Jonesboro Public Schools each computer class has two adults to help monitor the students.

"Kids are smart and they'll find ways around it," said DuBar.

At Paragould High School many of the teachers have a program called "synchronize" where the teacher can see what the students are looking at.

"If a kid is trying to get into an inappropriate site or they're not doing their work the teacher can say immediately this child is not doing what they're supposed to be doing," said DuBar.

Because of all the safeguards and monitoring, teachers say it's almost impossible for cyber bullying to happen in school.

"The only thing safer that I can think of is unplug the computer take it away from the wall and say don't touch it," said DuBar.

But it can happen away from the classroom.

"It can certainly happen at home.  Most students now have '' and they're posting information about themselves.  Parents need to be very, very cautious," said Jane Jamison.