On the evening of Tuesday, November 15, 2011, LAPD West Valley Division, the Reseda Neighborhood Council and the Reseda Magnet School hosted as part of the “Stand UP and Speak Out Against Bullying” campaign, a community meeting at the Reseda High School Auditorium. Special guests and speakers included United States Attorney Andre Birotte Jr., LAPD Police Commissioner Alan Skobin, Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas, Captain John Egan and community volunteer and Public Safety Advocate Monica Harmon.
More than 200 students, parents, teachers and other interested parties attended the hour long meeting. In partnership with LAPD, Anti-Bullying meetings have been organized across the City of Los Angeles since early this year and forums have been held at local schools, CPAB’s, non-profit organizations and parent groups. Topics covered during the Reseda Forum included all forms of Bullying and Cyber Bullying, and the speakers were also educated on the dangers of “Sexting.” Students and parents were given brooklets and web sites to find more information on the issue.
Bullying is the most under reported Public Safety Issue in schools today. Every day 160,000 students miss school for fear of being bullied and the majority of students have witnessed an incident of bullying. United States Attorney Andre Birotte, Jr, the former Inspector General for the LAPD Police Commission remarked: “The two most important things that students, parents and teachers can do to prevent bullying of all kinds are, first, to educate themselves thoroughly on the subject and second, to communicate when they see or witness incidents of bullying. Forums like this one tonight are the perfect place to start that education and begin that communication.”