I’m back with Part 3 of my detailed notes from the ERASE Bullying Summit in Vancouver, BC on Tuesday, Nov 13 where I attended as a guest social media correspondent. ERASE stands for Expect Respect, and A Safe Education.
If you missed either of the first posts, catch up here…
I’m sharing all of my notes from the summit because there was so much important information shared and I truly want all parents and teachers to hear and absorb all that was said. The presentations were fast-paced and full of content, so please understand there may be errors in my notes and that I couldn’t capture everything.
How To Combat Bullying
Sgt. Frank Paulicelli and Cpl. Kurt Neuman shared the RCMP perceptive.
There are three areas in handling bullying. The RCMP has some programs in place in all three areas but more is needed.
They shared a quote someone said regarding gangs and related it to the enormous problem of bullying: “We won’t be able to arrest our way out of this problem.”
Bullying is not a legal term and it’s often ambiguous.
But there are sections of criminal code offences – the following are the sections in the Canadian Criminal Code that often apply to bullying.
Section 264 Criminal harassment
Section 264.1 uttering threats
Section 372 (2)(3) harassing telephone calls
Section 423 intimidations
Section 241 counselling suicide
Section 372 false messages
Section 347 extortion
Section 296 blasphemous libel
Section 300 defamatory libel
- School based threat risk assessment
- Youth criminal justice act
- Youth mental health & addictions workshops
- Youth Officer Training
- I – SMART
- Youth Officer Resource Tool Kit
- DICE (Digital Investigators Computer Evidence)
- Development Assets
Cyber-bullying isn’t just a police or a school or a parent problem, we must work together.
Impact of Social Media on Bullying
Merlyn Horton, E.D. from Safe Online Outreach Society
Merlyn shared a collection of resource links at http://bitly.com/bundles/merlynmerlyn/r
She spoke about how parents need to become more aware and involved in the technology their children are using.
Parents need to talk to their kids about sexting and the risks involved. The sexting craze can lead to child pornography charges.
Kids curiosity now leads to endless data. There are websites providing negative information for every issue kids are curious about. For instance there are pro-anna, pro-suicide, pro-slashing sites, gang recruitment and other such websites.
Parents needs to talk to their children about online pornography and how to protect their personal information.
Youth-produced sexual images are child pornography and can have criminal implications.
Everything we put online becomes permanent data and public. For example, archive.org keeps history of sites.
We need to teach kids how to document and report any cyber-bullying they experience.
What is “cyberbullying”? Is it:
- passing secrets
- posting pictures
- telling someone to kill themselves
- distribution of child sexual abuse images
- fake Facebook pages
What is the definition? If it is all those things then what is it? One of the challenges in combating cyber-bullying is the inconsistent definition.
There are ways that cyber bullying differs from face-to-face bullying.
With online cruelty…
- virtual bystanders witness destructive content and comment indefinitely.
- online dynamics make bully/victim roles fluid and changing.
We need to engage youth. Give kids tools to say, “I made a mistake. I want to repair it and make it right.”
When educating children, Digital Literacy should not be an ‘add-on’ — it needs to be integrated in education.
Children should expect respectful behaviour.
Youth can teach each other. Kids do ask sophisticated questions.
Barriers that Keep Kids From Reporting
Adults must be safe havens. We must have calm dialog.
Kids often don’t report cyber-bullying or online sexual harassment or other issues because of:
- Fear of losing access to the technology.
- Parents or other adults “overreacting”.
- Their own guilt. They may feel guilty or embarrassed.
Adults have to let kids know it is safe to report. We must control our desire to intervene and take appropriate actions that do not lose trust of the children.
Creating Safe, Inclusive Schools
Teams from Frank Hurt Secondary (Surrey) and Timberline Secondary (Campbell River) shared the programs they have in place that are helping decrease bullying.
Positive open school climate is key to keeping school safe.
Trinity: Arts, Academics and Athletics
At Timberline Secondary, they are changing the culture of the school.
One example of a program they’ve implemented is the “Student Advocates Program”.
- Create an Anti-Bullying Survey.
- At end of the survey, ask, “If you were being bullied, who would stand up for you?” Get kids to list names of those in their peer groups who they felt would stand up for them in a bullying situation.
- Colate list and give to teachers, counsellors, VP for their selections. Create a master cross referenced list.
The group selected turned out to be a cross section of the school groups — the alphas in each group.
The principal brought them together and thanked them. Then he asked if would they want to be involved in a program. They all said they would so the school contacted the RCMP and got them active in a “Student Advocates Program”.
Both schools had many examples of initiatives that were succeeding to create a better sense of belonging and positive change in their school climates.
The notes I’ve shared in these three posts focused on the main presentations. Included in the summit were also several student speeches, panels and numerous questions.
I felt the summit was a huge success and I think everyone in the room learned and was inspired to continue to work towards ending bullying in our schools.
More To Come… Don’t Miss It
We’ve created a new Stop Bullying Resource Page.
Also please follow and share our Stop Bullying Pinterest board where we’re continuallying adding helpful resources related to bullying.
I will be writing more about this critical issue of bullying. So stay connected… please sign up for our email list below.