The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of West Virginia is committed to the safety and well-being of all children and has placed a high priority on protecting and combating youth bullying and harassment.
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FEDERAL OFFICIALS VISIT PARKERSBURG HIGH SCHOOL TO DISCUSS SCHOOL-BASED VIOLENCE AND BULLYING PREVENTION
U.S. Attorney Goodwin, U.S. Marshal Foster Both Say Educating Students about Social Networking Misuses and Bullying is Imperative
On March 19, 2012, United States Attorney Booth Goodwin, United States Marshal John D. Foster, and Parkersburg Police Department Chief Joe Martin met with Parkersburg High School Principal Pam Goots, faculty and students to discuss school-based violence, bullying and social media misuses.
The visit provided federal officials with the opportunity to talk one-on-one with students and faculty about the prevalence of bullying that has occurred both in schools and through social networking sites, as reported among school districts nationwide.
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said that the visit was prompted most notably by the school shooting that took place just three weeks ago at a high school in Chardon, OH, which claimed the lives of three young people and wounded two others. Goodwin said that meeting with students today was also led by numerous reports of teens taking to social media to threaten, bully or intimidate fellow classmates.
U.S. Attorney Goodwin said that it’s disturbing to hear when acts of bullying escalate into acts of violence in a school setting, regardless of where it occurs in the country. “As a United States Attorney and most importantly as the father of two school-aged children, ensuring that children are protected is my daily and foremost priority.”
Goodwin, who has now served as the chief federal law enforcement official for West Virginia’s Southern District for more than 20 months, continued “It is important for school faculty and students to know that if they see, hear or perceive something to be amiss or if they know someone who is being threatened or bullied in school or via social media; they need to speak up so that a potential tragic situation can be avoided.”
U.S. Marshal John Foster said, “Today’s forum provides us in law enforcement with a golden opportunity to develop a dialogue with faculty and students. Violence in schools not only has severe consequences for the offender, but the act itself can change the face of an entire community. That is why it is important for us to be here to reinforce the message to students that violence has no place in our schools, in our communities, or in our homes.”
Goodwin’s school-based violence prevention message at Parkersburg High touched on various topics including: Internet/social media safety, anti-bullying, and insight on the legal and personal consequences of violating the law.
Parkersburg High School Principal Pam Goots said, “Parkersburg High is pleased to host U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and U.S. Marshal Foster today to talk about the most fundamental priority that all school administrators share - making sure that each and every student who enters a school’s front door in the morning, returns safely to their family in the afternoon.” Goots continued, “Students must understand the end consequences for violence and other acts of misconduct and I believe that having our law enforcement representatives here today to speak on those important topics helped students comprehend the fact that these situations are not taken lightly.”