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Media Memo: UW-Eau Claire cyberbullying expert available to talk with media

October 17, 2013

TO: News Editors and Directors

FROM: Julie Poquette, News Bureau director

DATE: Oct. 17, 2013

SUBJECT: UW-Eau Claire cyberbullying expert available to talk with media

Dr. Justin W. Patchin, professor of criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, is available talk with reporters developing follow-up stories to the ongoing coverage of the recent Florida case in which two girls, ages 12 and 14, are accused of bullying another 12-year-old girl until she committed suicide. You can read Dr. Patchin's brief post about the incident on his blog.

Patchin has been interviewed by several U.S. media outlets, including USA Today and The Christian Science Monitor, following the latest developments in the story of the suicide of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick of Lakeland, Fla.

Dr. Patchin, an internationally known expert on cyberbullying issues, also can discuss proposed anti-bullying legislation recently advanced by the Wisconsin Senate's Committee on Education (see Oct. 16 Student Press Law Center story).

Patchin has said that while cyberbullying laws are useful in that they draw attention to the problem, it is important that laws are crafted in a way that is informed by research, not singular high-profile incidents. He believes most cyberbullying incidents can and should be handled outside the criminal justice system. He has said most cyberbullying incidents can and should be handled with parents, schools and others working together to address the problem before it escalates.

Dr. Patchin has written three books and numerous academic and professional articles on the topic of cyberbullying. His fourth book, "Words Wound: Delete Cyberbullying and Make Kindness Go Viral," helps empower teens to be a solution to the problem. The book will be published in December (more info here).

Dr. Patchin can be reached at patchinj@uwec.edu or 715-836-4058.


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