EDITORIAL: Taking on the bullies

Over the past few weeks, all eyes have been on New Jersey and the trial of Tyler Clementi’s former roommate – who allegedly videotaped him in their shared dorm room as he engaged in homosexual relations, shortly before the young man committed suicide.

However, bullying is an issue that knows no geographic bounds. And, with the dominance of text messages and social media sites, children, teens and young adults who are targeted by their peers can be subject to a non-stop and potentially scarring barrage of harassment – a syndrome that needs to be dealt with before it reaches epidemic proportions.

That’s why The Home Reporter and The Brooklyn Spectator are pleased to join with Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes in sponsoring an anti-bullying video contest for area students in grades four through nine.

“We take this problem very seriously,” stressed Co-Publisher Victoria Schneps-Yunis. “We see our role as advocates to alert the public about this epidemic and to effect change.”

Youngsters who go to school in Bath Beach, Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Fort Hamilton, South Slope or Sunset Park are eligible to participate in the competition, which asks that they create a 90-second YouTube video that answers one of five key questions – “What is bullying?” “What is cyberbullying?” “What should you do if you are being bullied?” “How does being bullied make you feel?” or “How can you stop a bully?”

There will be cash prizes given to the creators of the winning videos, and the first place winner will snag the title of Brooklyn D.A. for the Day and have his or her video featured on the paper’s website, www.homereporternews.com. But, the bigger prize is an intangible one — the opportunity to learn about an issue of growing importance, and teach others what bullying is and how to cope with it.

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