Ferlita lobbies for anti-bullying campaign in Hillsborough

05/20/09 Mitch E. Perry
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In the wake of the outcry over charges that four Hillsborough County teenagers raped a 13-year-old classmate, County Commissioner Rose Ferlita today proposed that the county conduct an anti-bullying campaign.

Ferlita said she reviewed a state anti-bullying law but that legislation could do nothing to prevent the horror of the incident at Walker Middle School.

Ferlita said the plan should include creating Public Service Announcements to be aired on local broadcast media outlets, including the county’s own government channel, as well as establishing a hot line number, a cyber link number, and posters to be placed where children congregate.

Ferlita said it shouldn’t cost any public monies to conduct such a campaign. Ferlita said her plans were to complement similar measures already enacted by the Hillsborough County School District.

Commissioner Kevin Beckner supported Ferlita’s proposal and said he wanted to strengthen it.

Commissioner Ken Hagen told Ferlita that her proposal echoed an anti-methamphetamine campaign the Board helped put together previously. Commissioner Al Higgenbotham asked if she had consulted yet with the School Board and the Sheriff’s Office. She said she had not yet, but would in the future. The Board then voted 6-0 to go forward with the plan.

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