CMRC Hosts Youth Seminar

Now in its 5th year, Central Mississippi Residential Center's outreach campaign to young people has grown by leaps and bounds.

'Since its inception we've grown from 300 students to this year we'll have 4,000 students,' says CMRC Public Relations Director, Frankie Johnson.

The theme for this year's series of seminars is, 'I Got You.' As part of the two weeks of sessions this fall and two additional weeks of sessions for 10th grades early next year, guests from the Mississippi Department of Education, state attorney general's office and local law enforcement are addressing issues that range from suicide prevention to underage drinking, dating violence and bullying.

'We're the first state in the United States that's come up with a victim profile and has implemented a means wherein the victims can actually receive behavioral science services that will help them with being a victim, and work with them to make it where they are possibly not as attractive to bullies,' says Robert Laird, who is the Director for School Safety with the Mississippi Department of Education.

'If it's taking place at the school, we deal with the school,' says Newton Police Chief, Harvey Curry. 'If they need us to handle it or come in, we will. But if bullying is taking place, most of the time it's taking place at school.'

Almost two years ago Mississippi legislators passed Senate Bill 2016, which mandates that all school districts investigate claims of bullying.

When it comes to bullying, one of the fastest growing types is through the use of technology.

In an effort to end cyberbullying, officials with the attorney general's office in Mississippi say many people don't realize that Facebook is taking steps to help. Here's how. At the top of each profile page on the Facebook there's an icon that you can click.

'What you do is press that little button at the top of the page and it will take you through a series of reporting options and you can just enter that in and Facebook will take care of it from there,' says Leah Campbell with the Mississippi Attorney General's Office.

Students taking part in this year's 'I Got You' campaign come from the 9-county area which CMRC serves.