American actor, comedian, dancer, musician, writer and producer Kel Mitchell, used his celebrity status to motivate a crowd of over 400 students and youth participants Friday afternoon at Phillips County Community College during a Nonviolence Youth Summit.
Mitchell, best known for his work as a regular cast member of the Nickelodeon sketch comedy series “All That,” his portrayal of Kel Kimble on the Nickelodeon sitcom “Kenan & Kel,” and “Good Burger,” encouraged the youngsters to believe in themselves and not give in to bullying or cyber bullying.
“I'm here to tell you guys that so often kids just like you become the victim of bullying, in school, out on the playgrounds, off of campus and even at home,” commented Mitchell.
Mitchell stressed the importance of becoming aware of cyber bullying (the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm or harass other people) and the different ways cyber bullying can be prevented.
“Cyber bullying can be as simple as continuing to send e-mails or text messages harassing someone who has said they want no further contact with that other person,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell explained that often this may also include public actions such as repeated threats, sexual remarks, hate speeches or defamatory false accusations, ganging up on someone by making the person the subject of ridicule online, hacking into or vandalizing sites about a person, and posting false statements as fact, aimed at humiliating the victim.
“Cyber bullying could be limited to posting rumors about a person on the Internet with the intention of bringing someone down, or making others bring them down. It causes low self-esteem, increased suicidal tendencies and a whole lot of emotional responses like being scared, frustrated, angry, and depressed,” continued Mitchell.
Unfortunately, there is no "one size fits all" as far as cyber bullying is concerned added Mitchell.
“There are ways that you, yes you, can prevent the harmful effects that cyber bullying has on many,” commented Mitchell.
Mitchell stated that the steps that can be taken to prevent cyber bullying include keeping your photos “PG”, pausing before you post or text, setup and revise privacy controls and most of all educate yourself and talk to your friends or loved ones about what they are seeing and experiencing.
“Avoid becoming a cyber bully yourself. Remember, if you wouldn't say it to them in person, don't put it online,” stressed Mitchell.
The nonviolence youth summit was hosted to educate today's young people on today's bullying awareness, leadership, Arkansas' history, and crime prevention. During the summit there were four assembled break out sessions.