Anti-bullying program announced in Howard County

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WMAR) - "The time has come to stand up to bullying," Howard County Executive Ulman said during an announcement for a new anti-bullying initiative.

The initiative has three components that include a technology-driven reporting tool that will allow parents and children to file real-time incident reports.

The app will forward anonymous bulling reports to designated Howard County representatives in participating departments and agencies.

Another key component of the initiative will provide training and resources for people who work with children.

"Bullying prevention is a community-wide effort," said Erin Reiney from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).  "We need parents, kids and public officials all to collaborate and that is what the Howard County, Maryland initiative will do.  

The initiative also includes a social marketing campaign to raise awareness of bullying.

Ulman's proposed budget for 2014 sets aside $250,000 for the program.  The county is hoping to get the program running this fall, coinciding with the 2013-2014 school year.

The service has been used in school systems nationwide, but this is the first time it will be used in a community setting.

"We are taking the same technology that has the potential to be harmful to kids, through cyber bullying, and using it to help," Ulman said.

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