Girls make finals with cyberbullying video
Rumours, threats, insults and teasing - cyberbullying is not OK, and a group of year 10 Craighead pupils are making that clear.
The girls put together a video about cyberbullying and how to deal with it. The video has been chosen as a top five finalist in the national Interface Awards in the Best Teaching with ICT category.
It's a topic the girls feel passionate about.
"New technology is great but it comes with its own problems. There's more cyberbullying and more websites to do it on, so it's a growing problem and we need to be aware of it," said group member Zara McLellan. A recent Law Commission report found one in 10 New Zealanders had experienced harmful communications on the internet. Other research showed 20 per cent of secondary school students had experienced cyber bullying.
All schools experience the nasty business of cyberbullying; it's not new, but the face of it is changing.
Anonymous text messaging and Facebook were once the main bullying channels, but the platforms are getting wider and more varied. The girls mention ask.fm, qooh.me and snapchat as the most dangerous sites for cyber bullying.
The impetus behind the project was an article inThe Timaru Herald telling the story of two young Irish girls, 13 and 15, who committed suicide as a result of being cyberbullied. "It's a problem all over the world," said Faith Turner-Walker. We want to increase awareness and show people a solution." Rosa Mehrtens said bullying has escalated in modern times because of technology.
"The person sending hate can't see your emotion," she said.
Teacher in charge Gala Kirke said the video was split into two parts - the first to engage people with the issue emotionally, and the second to offer some solutions.
"It's been a really interesting project. The students were tentative to talk about cyberbullying at the beginning, but after doing this they've really opened up. Most importantly they've learnt there are ways of dealing with it - that you're not alone," Mrs Kirke said.
View the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ls73vIHSto
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