Nebraska State Bar Foundation

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News Students Offer Solutions for Problem of Cyberbullying

Students Offer Solutions for Problem of Cyberbullying

Essay Contest winners (front row L to R) Addie Curley and Holly Green, (back row) Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Heavican, Essay Contest winners Makala Michka and Erik Prieto, and Foundation President Kile Johnson.
In answer to the question posed for the 12th Annual Law Day Essay Contest, all winners agreed that the Nebraska Legislature should take some type of action to protect students from cyber-bullying. Most acknowledged the seriousness of cyber-bullying by referring to student suicides that have occurred as a result of the student being bullied. One writer referenced a personal experience of being cyber-bullied, while another stated that "there needs to be a way to create an environment where students feel safe to speak up about bullying." 

These are the 2011 contest winners:

Grade 8 Makala Michka Stuart Public
Grade 9 Addie Curley Marian, Omaha
Grade 10 Holly Green Northwest, Grand Island
Grade 11 Yan (Cassie) Jia Westside, Omaha
Grade 12 Erik Prieto Lyons-Decatur Northeast

Sponsors of the student writers were Michelle Olson, Stuart; Marsha Kalkowski and Kathy DeBoer, Marian; Brian Gibson, Grand Island Northwest; Diana Schergin and Bob Brousek, Westside; and Pat Sharp and Derek Lahm, Lyons-Decatur Northeast.

Essay contest winners were honored on May 2 at the annual Law Day Luncheon in Lincoln in the presence of their parents and school representatives. Chief Justice Mike Heavican, Nebraska Supreme Court, and Bar Foundation President Kile W. Johnson presented the students and teachers with a gift from the Foundation. Students also received certificates of achievement. Holly Green received the McGrath North Mulllin & Kratz Scholarship to participate in this summer's National Student Leadership Conference in San Francisco. The scholarship, valued at $2,595, was presented by law firm representative Kris Covi.

Following the luncheon, Professor Mike Fenner, Creighton Law School, and attorney Clarence Mock from Oakland, Nebraska, discussed the issue of protection from cyber-bullying vs. First Amendment Rights. Students of teacher Ken Meyers at Wilcox-Hildreth High School participated via distance learning technology.

The annual Law Day Essay Contest is cosponsored by the Bar Foundation and the Nebraska Supreme Court. Photos of the 2011 Law Day celebration and full text of the contest question are online at


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