Chicago video addresses bullying

September 23, 2011 3:45:30 PM PDT
Several Chicago high school students have pushed back on cyber-bullying by making a video to raise awareness with students and parents.

"Your Social Life," created with the educational council Mikva Challenge, addresses bullying and how to prevent it. It will debut later this month and be distributed at Chicago area schools. Mikva Challenge found that cyber-bullying and sexting were two major issues that are having an impact on teenagers.

One student, Tiffany Witkowski, a native American, remembers being bullied when she moved to Chicago after her brother died.

"A lot of people would kind of say things about him (and) because we were native American, they were judgmental towards our lifestyle, " Witkowski said.

Jessica Janopoulos was emotional when she heard her daughter, Alexandria, talked about her bullying experience.

She said parents don't always know when their child is being bullied. She said parents should get on Facebook and friend their kid's friends so they can monitor online activity.

Chicago police officer Karen Wojcikowski said she was bullied as a child and now is on the bully police squad

Mikva Challenge and the bully squad encourage parents to monitor their children's texting, emails and social media messages.

"It is not a right of passage anymore, it is not something you can sweep under the rug," Wojcikowski said. "A 14-year-old boy committed suicide the other day because he had enough cyber-bullying."

Vincent Bolger, an anti-bullying activist, appeared in a national anti-bullying public service announcement.

"I was bullied as a kid and it is not a good feeling," Bolger said. "I want to make it clear that it needs to stop."

For more information on anti-bullying efforts go to or

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