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  1. 1. Debbie Tibando
  2. 2. Introduction There is ample opportunity for children in our society to use electronic forms of communication, which leaves them open to electronic aggression and cyber bullying. A study recent Canadian study found that by the age 11, (that is grade 6) children text an average of 80 minutes a day, 18% use social networking sites such as Facebook despite not meeting age requirements, 58% communicate through internet or cell phone. It also found that 31% of eleven year olds have their own cell phone, 68% of those send and receive texts and 21% have internet on their phone. With all this new technology available the school yard bully has moved into the cyber age. Cyber-bullying, has become the preferred way to bully, because it can be done easily by using a computer, cell phone or tablet. The bully does not have to face the victim, and can reach a large audience with the touch of a button. Victims prefer not to tell because they worry about being forced to disconnect from social media themselves, so the bully has an open door to torment and harass until the victim can take it no longer.
  3. 3. What is cyber bullying? Cyber bullying involves sending verbal or physical threats, harassing messages, hateful or derogatory comments, and posting unflattering or obscene photos, and in more extreme cases the building a hate filled web site aimed at demeaning and intimidating the victim. It can be so intrusive that a child feels trapped and helpless, because cyber bullies are like stalkers who won't stop. The cyber bully gains power and control over the victim much like school yard bully, but is worse because the cyber bully follows the victim everywhere they go through the use of voicemail, texts, and instant messages. In order to prosecute the police need proof which most victims just want to delete, and with the added ease of establishing a social media account many cyber bullies use a false identity to prevent getting caught. Even if the police are able to trace the source of harassing messages the bully can deny involvement and claim that someone else used his/her identity and computer. The more sophisticated bullies have even challenged authorities saying they have freedom of speech and cannot be censored just because someone disapproves of what they are saying. Then there are those who don’t see the effects of what they are doing. I performed a survey of twelve young people I know between the ages of 8-16 years old these are my findings:  6 had been cyber bullied but felt it was a small and one time incident  3 admitted to posting unflattering photos of friends online but felt it was all in fun not being a bully  2 actually felt they were bullied and threatened so changed their account settings so the bully was blocked  1 said he didn't know why people made a big deal about cyber bullying, then said "everyone at my school posts things about each other, its a game" when I asked how the recipient of these things felt he said " we just laugh it off" Although my survey only reached a few people and didn't really give me a broad spectrum I did see a difference in opinions between the youngest and oldest of the group and I feel that cyber bullying gets more sophisticated in the higher age range.
  4. 4. The effects of cyber bullying: "A 2009 study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health revealed that 29 per cent of Ontario students - or nearly one in three children reported being bullied at school." Research shows that cyber bullying takes an effect on the victim's physical as well as emotional well being. Victims of cyber bullying have reported the following concerns: headaches, recurring stomach pain, difficulty sleeping, depression leading to feeling hopeless about their situation, crying, over-eating or refusing to eat, being angry and/or irritable in their every day life, begin using alcohol and illegal drugs, can begin to perform poorly in school, and may even self-harm themselves. They are also twice as likely to attempt suicide. Some examples of the severe effects of cyber bullying are; Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17-year-old from Nova Scotia committed suicide. She was sexually assaulted when she was 15 and the photos of the incident were later shared with her classmates and friends, causing her such distress she felt the only way out was to end her life. Amanda Todd, a Port Coquitlam teen who endured persistent bullying related to a sexually explicit photo of herself that was posted online, ended her life. Audrie Pott, 15, hanged herself eight days after photos of a sexual attack were posted online and shared among classmates at Saratoga High School. Eleven students at Robert F. Hall Catholic Secondary School in Caledon East began an online group calling the principal the "grinch of school spirit" after the school enforced a district ban on electronic devices and announced it would impose a uniform policy. The comments posted on Facebook were demeaning to the principal, extremely vulgar and very profane.
  5. 5. Kenneth Weishuhn, a gay high school freshman from Paullina, Iowa, took his own life after being bullied by classmates at school and online, and with death threats by phone. The bullying began with an anti-gay Facebook group, created by Kenneth’s classmates. His mother, Jeannie Chambers, said she knew her son was being harassed, and said that her son told her, "Mom, you don’t know how it feels to be hated.“ According to his sister Kayla, the abuse that started after he "came out" was from people he had trusted: “People that were originally his friends, they kind of turned on him. A lot of people, they either joined in or were too scared to say anything.” Phoebe Prince was a 15-year-old Irish immigrant, a student at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts. Pheobe hanged herself two days before the winter cotillion dance at her school. Pheobe, a newcomer to the school, was a victim of cyber bullying about her date for that dance, a senior football player. Phoebe was subjected to an onslaught of bullying and was called "Irish slut" and "whore" on Twitter, Craigslist, Facebook and Formspring, and in person at the school. Even after her death, the girls left vicious messages on a Facebook page created in her memory. Hope Witsell was a 13-year-old who grew up in Sundance, Florida. Her only crime was forwarding a nude photo of herself to a boy she liked. Another girl borrowed the boy’s phone, found the image and forwarded it to other students. And so, the image found its way to a lot of other students in her school and in other schools. The result – taunting and bullying from her peers at Beth Shields Middle School, with insults such as "whore" and "slut". On Sept. 12, 2009 Hope wrote in her journal: “I'm done for sure now. I can feel it in my stomach. I'm going to try and strangle myself. I hope it works.” In his school's AV lab, an overweight teen filmed himself fighting invisible enemies with a light saber fashioned out of a broomstick, the teen made his own sound effects as he awkwardly thrashed about, he thought, for his own private viewing. A few days later, some other students at the school found the video and uploaded it to a file sharing website. He was taunted at school and had to be put into a mental hospital for a short time.
  6. 6. CANADIAN BULLYING STATISTICS Canadian study of cyber bullying, completed in 1999, and based on 490 students (half female, half male) in Grades 8-10 showed: » 64 per cent of kids had been bullied at school. » 12 per cent were bullied regularly » 13 per cent bullied other students » 64 per cent considered bullying a normal part of school life. » 20-50 per cent said bullying can be a good thing (makes people tougher, is a good way to solve problems, etc.). » 25-33 per cent said bullying is sometimes OK and/or that it is OK to pick on losers. » 61-80 per cent said bullies are often popular and enjoy high status among their peers.
  7. 7. CANADIAN BULLYING STATISTICS (2) A study of Canadian school children from September 2011-April 2012 found that although 48 % had been bullied for less than a month, 41% had suffered for months, and 11 % had suffered for years. Children as young as seven, in grade two, reported being bullied, but between the age of thirteen and sixteen the incidents increase substantially as seen in the chart below.
  8. 8. What is being done? * National Anti-Bullying Day takes place the last Wednesday in February, in 2013 this was February 27. To show support for Anti-Bullying Day people were asked to wear a pink shirt, wrist bands were also available. * The Canadian government has invested $300,000 to develop an online strategy to help students and parents fight cyber-bully. The money will be used to develop a bilingual online workshop designed for youth and young athletes; in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario; and develop a social media strategy to increase awareness of the issue of youth violence and healthy relationships. * The province’s Safe School Act, called Bill 81, has been updated to state that a student can be expelled for inappropriate use of electronic communications/media, bullying, intimidating, threatening and cyber bullying. The Act creates legal obligations for school boards and schools to prevent bullying, issue tougher consequences for bullying, and support students who want to promote understanding and respect for all. * Parliament has been debating the issue trying to find a way to combat cyber-bullying, leaders of both Saskatchewan parties spoke not as politicians, but as fathers. "Everyone who spoke in the house today is also a parent,” said Premier Brad Wall. “I think when we hear about these stories the first reaction is anger; you know you feel real anger that this could possibly, possibly happen.” Amendments to the criminal code would make it illegal to post intimate photos without consent are being debated in Ottawa. The Criminal Code of Canada, as it stands now states that on-line bullying is considered a criminal act and is punishable by law. Offences covered under this act include: - sending repeated messages to someone if the messages cause that person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others. - publishing defamatory and libelous, comments that are insulting or damaging to a person's reputation by exposing him or her to hatred, contempt, or ridicule - any violation of the Canadian Human Rights Act which involves spreading of hate or discrimination based on race, religion, colour, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, age or disability.
  9. 9. Combating cyber bullying A lot of things are being done to combat cyber bullying but one Minnesota teen has taken it a step further and although it is catching on more people need to jump on his band wagon. “Kevin Curwick was saddened by the amount of online bullying taking place among his fellow Osseo High School students, so he took the higher road. He created a Twitter account and began posting nice comments about his classmates. Kevin got thumbs up recently when his classmates found out he's the author of the nice tweets.” (Copyright ©2013 KGO-TV/DT.) There is no way of knowing how long the bullying will last therefore the victim need to know there are a few steps to follow to help themselves; * Do not respond * Save and print the offensive messages and report it * Block the bully As a reminder to all young people using the internet: “These "3 Keeps" help me keep safe online I KEEP SAFE all my personal information I KEEP AWAY from online strangers I KEEP TELLING my parents or a trusted adult what I see on the Internet” (by First Lady Laura Bush)
  10. 10. Books About Cyber Bullying Destroying Avalon By Kate McCaffrey Publisher: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2006 Cyber Bullying By Rachel Stuckey Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company 2013 Cyber Bullying By Nick Hunter Publisher: Heinemann Educational Books 2011 Cyber Bullying: Protecting Kids and Adults from Online Bullies Samuel C., III McQuade, James P. Colt , Nancy B. B. Meyer Publisher: Praeger Publishers; 2009 Cyber Bullying: A Reference Handbook Samuel C., III McQuade, James P. Colt Publisher: ABC-CLIO Not available until 2014 20 Tips and Tricks to Prevent Cyber Bullying Katy Meister, Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2012 Safe Environment Curriculum for Personal and Cyber Safety, grades K-12th By Katy Meister Publisher: Katy Meister 2012 Children books Faux Paw Meets the First Lady: How to Handle Cyber- bullying: Keeping Children Safe Online By, Jacalyn Leavitt, Sally Linford, First Lady Laura Bush Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; Book & CD-Rom Movie edition 2006 The Savvy Cyber Kids at Home: The Defeat of the Cyber Bully Ben Halpert , Publisher: Savvy Cyber Kids, Inc. (2011) Always Remember You Are Loved: When a Child Seeks Guidance on Cyber and Peer Bullying Angel D. Washington, Curtis Perry Publisher: Angel S Diary 2012 Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn To Use the Internet Safely and Responsibly by Nancy E. Willard Publisher: Jossey-Bass 2007 Movie for Young People about Cyber Bullying “Cyberbully” ABC Family worked with Seventeen magazine to make the film, and hopes it will "delete digital drama". The film tells the story of a teenage girl who is bullied online DVD February 7, 2012.
  11. 11. Links
  12. 12. Resources • Anderson, Greg. April, 19, 2013. ‘The reality of cyber-bullying” Brant News • Campbell, Bruce, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, spokesman CBC Radio • CAMH. February 7, 2013. “Cyberbullying: a covert threat” • Fletcher, Raquel. April 25, 2013. "Cyberbullying Legislation Prompts Emotional Response" Global News • Hospital for Sick Children, accessed June 2013 • Levitt, Jacalyn, Linford, Sally, First Lady Laura Bush. “Faux Paw Meets the First Lady” John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; Book 2006 Mackrael, Kim. April 24, 2013, “House of Commons Urged to Enact New Cyberbullying Law Before its Summer Break” The Globe and Mail • Ontario ministry of Education, June 5, 2012. “Ontario Standing Up for Bullied Students” • Sherring, Susan. APRIL 30, 2013. “Another step to fight bullying, Ottawa Sun • Statistics Canada. accessed June 2013