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Fayetteville Schools Crack Down On Cyberbullying

FAYETTEVILLE, AR. -- Northwest Arkansas schools are working to make sure kids are safe while surfing the net.
FAYETTEVILLE, AR. -- From Facebook to Twitter, social media is one way bullies are getting to their victims. Fayetteville schools are working to keep students safe in the cyber world.

"Bullying is a focus throughout the district for grades K through 12. Talking with students, the counselors talk to them about being kind, being respectful and not trying to use an unfair advantage," said Alan Wilbourn with the Fayetteville School District.

Alan Wilbourn with the district said it doesn't matter when an incident happens. If kids are affected in the classroom, the school must take action.

"At !:30 in the morning at home, they're not technically our student. However, when that online activity spills over into the school day the next day, then it becomes our problem," said Wilbourn.

The next step? An investigation.

"Any threat to a student or staff person we take very seriously," said Wilbourn.

Consequences can range from 10 days suspension to a year of expulsion.

"Unfortunately, the bully is no longer the big kid on the playground. With the internet, any kid can be a bully," said Sgt. Craig Stout with The Fayetteville Police Department.

Sgt. Stout said although the school may be able to intervene, police can't do the same until the action is reported to them.

"We don't have the resources to go out and monitor that because it may be something very specific. We really start investigating those once they are brought to our attention," said Stout.

Whether legal action is required or not, Wilbourn said Fayetteville schools don't take online bullying and threats lightly.

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