Sharron-Ann Reynolds from iamaSMARTkid.org joins Robbie and Hillary to discuss how technology has changed the bully and created the cyber bully. Important information for parents, and young people alike.
Robbie Ferguson, Hillary Rumball and Sharron-Ann Reynolds present live from the Category5 studios in Barrie, Ontario.
Music video: 'Bully' performed by Unbelievers. Song and lyrics by Jen Unbe.
Interview: Sharron-Ann Reynolds from iamaSMARTkid.org joins the Category5 crew to discuss cyber bullying: what is it, what do parents need to know and what should kids / teens know about the modern form of bullying?
The spectrum of cyber bullying is huge: from mean tweets to kids being beaten and having the video posted on YouTube.
Cyber bullying is: when you post something that you know specifically is going to hurt the person.
Is cyber bullying a freedom of speech issue?
How to avoid saying something online and being misinterpreted: proofread. Be wary of tongue in cheek: there are no "emotions" in text.
SMART means "Social Media Awareness and Responsibility Team", which helps kids learn to use social media properly to avoid cyber bullies.
The fact that users are faceless and use aliases online, often they feel they may be able to say things they would not say in person.
"A smilie goes a long way"
Taking away your child's social media abilities these days is like severing their ability to communicate.
Tip for parents: "Friend" your kids on Facebook so you can keep watch, but with this stipulation: you don't ever post on their wall or "like" their posts. Robbie adds: Also, don't post embarassing photos of them and tag them.
The iamaSMARTkid.org blog will be launching over the Christmas holidays.
Call to parents: would you like to start a local "I am a SMART kid" group? Contact them!
Cyber bullying can lead to suicide. In the last 3 months alone, 6 children have taken their own lives within a 5 hour radius of Barrie.
What kids can do to stand up to cyber bullies.
Abort (stop the bullying), Support (offer a hand to the one being bullied), Report (to the authorities, parents, or teacher).