The city of Maple Valley will receive a statewide award for its anti-cyber bullying campaign next week.
A Municipal Excellence Award from the Association of Washington Cities will be presented June 19 during the organization’s 75th annual conference in Yakima.
The city is being singled out in the public safety category for its Preventing Cyber Bullying program, headed by the Police Department.
Acts of cyber bullying include the use of e-mail and other online messaging to threaten or harass people. Offenders include classmates, online acquaintances and anonymous users.
Out of 62 entries, Maple Valley’s entry is one of eight projects selected to receive a Municipal Excellence Award this year. Entries are judged by subject category, and each category has one winner. The awards are judged by individuals outside the association who are knowledgeable in local government.
The awards are in recognition of achievements in community efforts. The association hopes the competition encourages other cities to develop similar programs, a spokesman said.
In the case of Maple Valley’s campaign against cyber bullying, research has shown that the most effective means of addressing the issue is through a comprehensive, schoolwide approach, officials said.
The Maple Valley Police effort has a theme of “Take a Stand Against Cyber-Bullying.” The program includes classroom lessons for all grades in school, teacher/staff training, an intervention program for kids who are cyber bullies, support for victims of cyber bullying, parent information, law enforcement information and a model anti-bullying policy and procedures.