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Sept. 10, 2018 (Hoover) – Acting Secretary of the Office of Information Technology, Jim Purcell, and Chief Information Security Officer Ryan Allen led a discussion Monday with a dozen students at Hoover High School concerning cyberbullying. The students, ranging from freshmen to seniors, held an open and honest dialogue concerning the personal experiences they have had with cyberbullying.

While some of the students spoke out about being victims of bullying themselves, all of the students say they have witnessed it happening to other people. They say cyberbullying takes place on all forms of social media, but mainly Snapchat and Twitter. The students also shared stories of fellow students creating fake accounts to harass one another, as well as group texts that target a single victim.

The students also gave their input into what actions may help cyberbullying cease, including limiting social media at school or anonymous ways to report a case. The students also weighed in on a good balance of parents being aware of their activities, but also allowing them to have their freedom.

Purcell and Allen say it is important to get the opinions of the students, as they are the ones affected the most by cyberbullying. Purcell and Allen will now compile the information provided by the students to present to the fellow members of Governor Kay Ivey’s SAFE council.