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Josh Gunderson, Educational Speaker, Internet Safety
"Gunderson is a one-man show of angst and
energy, stories backed by a laptop, a big screen
and a lot of knowledge on the fascination as well as
the pitfalls of social networking"
The Lynn Daily Item, April 15, 2010
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Humor Used to Convey Cyberbullying
Message to Students, Parents

•By Lori E. Switaj | Email the author | Original Article

Taking an “ounce of prevention” approach to bullying, the Avon Lake School District will be
bringing in a popular speaker to talk to students and parents about the effects of cyberbullying
through a popular educational theatre speaker.

Armed with a big screen, a pair of jeans, microphone and a solid sense of humor, the enigmatic
Josh Gunderson will share tips on how to avoid cyberbullying by injecting humor and true stories
into his discussion.

Parents will be able to hear Gunderson Thursday evening at no charge.

“I had him here a few years ago,” Avon Lake High School principal Dr. Joanie Walker said. “He
gave a talk few years ago called Hooked on Facebook. He was so well received by students and
parents I wanted to bring him back.”


Gunderson will be talking to high school and middle school students during school hours on Feb.
8.

He will host a program for parents on Thursday, Jan. 7 from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in room 160 at the
high school.

An ounce of prevention

With more than eight years of experience in educational theatre, Gunderson travels throughout
the U.S. discussing real-life examples of positive and negative situations within the online world,
specifically the detrimental effects of cyberbullying.

“Every day, it seems we hear about incidents of bullying and cyberbullying in particular,”
Gunderson said. “With the growing influence of social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, it
is crucial for students and parents to understand the ramifications of what can happen with just
the click of a mouse. Bullying isn’t just happening in the school yard or hallway; it’s happening in
cyberspace too.”

Walker said that while the high school does an annual seminar near prom time on alcohol and
drug abuse, they also host an anti-bullying program every other year.

“He’s entertaining, fun,” Walker said of Gunderson. He also has credibility, speaking across the
country and being featured on NBC news.

Gunderson carries a serious message. Cyberbullying has lead to numerous suicides and can
have devastating effects on an individual regardless of their age. And Walker said with the advent
of smart phones, students are starting cyber communicating earlier and earlier.

“We have kids at Troy who text, Facebook,” she said. “There’s an interest for us to educate them.”

Gunderson’s visit was paid in part by a grant from the Avon Lake high school, Troy and Learwood
PTAs.

Students can “friend” Gunderson on Facebook.

“They on occasion ask for advice,” Walker said.

In conjunction with Gunderson’s cyberbullying presentation, he will also visit local schools in the
Avon Lake School District performing “Hooked On Facebook.” This high-energy program shows
the pros and cons of the online world in a way that keeps students engaged and entertained, but
also has them thinking twice about their digital footprint.

Highlighting areas such as thinking before you post, privacy, online identity, bullying, pictures and
sexting, Gunderson uses his own unique brand of comedy to explain the rules for Internet safety.