A free workshop to educate parents on the dangers of cyber bullying will be presented May 9 by Bryan Fendley, director of academic computing at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The workshop, which will be held at Second Baptist Church of Monticello, will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes a free lunch.

The workshop is sponsored by the Area 5 Wraparound Programs, CASSP Regional Team, and the SOC Care Coordinating Council.

According to Fendley, most people are unaware of the potential dangers of cyber bullying. “Cyber bullying is a type of bullying that takes place when internet enabled devices and applications are used to make someone’s life miserable,” Fendley explained. “Bullies used to be found on playgrounds. Now they are on cell phones, Facebook, and other areas of the internet. The way we go about hurting people has evolved.”

Citing current studies, Fendley said over half of all teens will either be victims or perpetrators of online bullying during their adolescent years. This involves online threats, circulation of unflattering photos, circulating sexually suggestive photographs, or spreading damaging rumors.

“Eighty-five percent of kids won’t tell anyone that their being cyber bullied,” said Fendley. “That’s why it is so important for parents to learn how to recognize it.” Fendley will be helping parents learn to recognize and address cyber bullying during the workshop.

A special screening of Submit the Documentary has also been arranged at the end of the workshop.  Submit the Documentary is an award winning film that takes a stark look at the damaging effects of cyber bullying.

Reservations for the workshop may be made by calling Misty Jones  at (870) 224-2474, Shae Kulbeth at (870) 723-8900, or Selena Collier at (870) 723-1775.