Garfield Takes on Cyberbullies
World’s Favorite Cartoon Cat Champions National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Teaches Kids to Be Kind Online
Clearwater, Fla. (September 26, 2017) – On the eve of National Cyber Security Awareness Month and National Bullying Prevention Month this October, Garfield and friends tackle the issue of cyberbullying in the latest edition of Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures. “Be Kind Online” is the third lesson in the series and teaches children the consequences when they share hurtful comments and photos.
Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures are provided by legendary cartoonist Jim Davis and the Center for Cyber Safety and Education. Each lesson includes a cartoon, comic book, poster, trading cards, and stickers showing Garfield and friends tackling a different cyber safety issue, including privacy, the dangers of posting online, online etiquette, cyberbullying, and more.
Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, said, “While technology allows young people to connect in meaningful ways, the unsupervised nature of the cyberworld demands the need for guidance, guidelines, and social responsibility. We are thrilled to link our shared resources with the Center and challenge kids to think twice before engaging in bullying of any kind.”
In addition to being available to families, Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures are also part of the Center’s Educator’s Kit, which contains 30 sets of everything a teacher or community group leader needs to teach an internet safety lesson to a group of students: a cartoon and handouts, such as classroom wall posters, activity comic books, trading cards, bookmarks, a letter to parents, “I Am Cyber Safe” wearable stickers, and much more.
“One of the most effective weapons against bullying is a positive school climate,” says Pat Craven, director for the Center for Cyber Safety and Education. “With cyberbullying at the forefront of both educators’ and parents’ minds, the Garfield materials and Educator’s Kit are powerful tools to help tackle bullying and foster a constructive educational environment.”
In addition to the Garfield materials, the Center also offers free resources for parents, including tips to help them recognize the signs of and take action against cyberbullying, whether their child is the victim or the bully.
“Last year, the Cyberbullying Research Center found that 34 percent of 5,700 students ages 12-17 reported they’ve been victims of cyberbullying in their lifetime, and 15 percent admitted to being a cyberbully in the past,” commented Craven. “It’s time to take bold steps and reverse these statistics.”
Garfield creator Jim Davis commented, “With cyberbullying so rampant, children need a champion. We hope that Garfield illuminates the consequences of poor online choices and helps kids realize they don’t have to become part of the bullying culture.”
The Garfield program is available via digital subscription to families, schools and civic groups of any kind wanting to help children become cyber aware and cyber safe. Many Girl Scout Councils nationwide now offer Garfield cyber safety patches for all scout levels. And Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures are on the shelves of libraries and in schools around the world.
Michael Kaiser, executive director for the National Cyber Security Alliance ‒ which co-leads National Cyber Security Awareness Month with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ‒ commented, “The Center has achieved so much to raise the cybersecurity consciousness in this country. We applaud both their advocacy and their awareness resources, which serve all ages. This new Garfield Lesson is a timely and highly impactful way to usher in National Cyber Security Awareness Month.”
Mr. Craven concluded, “New technologies emerge constantly that make it easy for bullies to target and access victims and for peers to pile on. We can’t anticipate the latest app, but we can reach kids early and raise a generation of responsible kids who can apply their sense of right and wrong to the digital world.”
Garfield lessons are available via digital subscription for your school, family or community group. Please visit www.SafeAndSecureOnline.org to order yours, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1.727.339.6508.
About Center for Cyber Safety and Education
The Center for Cyber Safety and Education (Center), is a non-profit charitable trust committed to making the cyber world a safer place for everyone. The Center works to ensure that people across the globe have a positive and safe experience online through their educational programs, scholarships, and research. Visit www.IAmCyberSafe.org.
GARFIELD was born on the comics pages on June 19, 1978. The creation of cartoonist Jim Davis, GARFIELD is a humorous strip centered on the lives of a quick-witted orange cat who loves lasagna, coffee, and his remote control; Jon Arbuckle, his owner; and Odie, a sweet but dumb dog. GARFIELD was introduced to the world in just 41 newspapers and is now the most widely syndicated comic strip ever, appearing in 2100 newspapers. The strip, distributed by Universal Press, is read by over 200 million people each day and is translated into 42 languages. Visit www.garfield.com.
Public Relations Specialist