Cyberbullying can follow you everywhere–but you can stop it


The College of the Rockies was the location of the free presentation  hosted by the Canadian Foundation of University Women (CFUW).  Constable Schlatter shared the details of what Cyber Bullying is, its effects and how to avoid it, and how to overcome it.   Constable Schlatter’s experience in dealing with youth was evident in the way she was able to address all the ages in the audience.

Cyberbullying follows you everywhere.  It’s far reaching and it’s never gone; it’s always there. You may remove a photo, but it’s still out there on other’s computers.

A Cyberbully is purposely trying to hurt a person’s feelings. They are not seeing the victim?s  emotions so it’s easier to write something that is hurtful. Rumours can be spread, negative comments, and threats result in serious consequences  including suicide. It’s all about control, the power factor.

Cyberbullying is not illegal, but it can lead to criminal behaviour; Criminal Harassment, Uttering Threats to harm, kill or maim.  Defamation can be a civil court matter; slander for the spoken word, libel for the written word.

Cyber Bullying occurs in the workplace, when volunteering and in schools; you are not alone

If students receive death threats, intimidation, or extortion attempts or any evidence of sexual exploitation they must take it seriously, and report it to an adult. Sexting is child pornography.  If they are not comfortable going to the police or their parent, they should go to their principal, a trusted adult or even a friend.  Don?t over react but don?t under react. The police need the evidence!

If you have a youth in your life, be proactive.  Talk to them about responsible technology, inappropriate language, sending pictures and the need to find an adult to confide in.  Make sure they know they will feel safe after they’ve told you.  Are they feeling they are at risk? How are they handling it on an emotional level?

And the police need the evidence!

What to do when you get cyber-bullied.

S  Stop

B  Block it and do not reply

S  Save the entry  and print it

R   Report It to an adult you trust.

Don’t be a bystander!  If you have a friend who is being cyber bullied, befriend the victim.  Some areas are setting up Anti-Bullying Projects to increase awareness, and to encourage students to protect each other.  Make Cyber Bullies know its not Cool!   If you wouldn?t say it why would you print it.   For further information check out the web, under Cyber Bullying Public Service Announcements.

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