This Wednesday is Pink Shirt Day and the focus this year is on cyber-bullying. By definition, cyberbullying is bullying behaviour that occurs in an online or digital environment. Just like regular bullying, cyberbullying can be obvious or subtle, it can involve several people or many and the effects can be harmful and long-lasting. With kids being online earlier and earlier, cyberbullying is a real concern for parents and educators. As with any bullying behaviours, proactive is better than reactive and keeping the lines of communication open is key.
Last week’s blog saw the official launch of West Vancouver School District’s Digital Citizenship Hub. Within the website, there are some lessons that lend themselves to the issue of cyber-bullying.
For the Kindie to Grade 3 crowd, the focus is on kindness and what that looks like and feels like. These discussions can be fuelled by picture books and there are lots of great picture books mentioned on the website, especially under the “Respect” section.
For the Grade 4 to 7 classes, the issues of cyber-bullying and respectful, kind online behaviour are dealt with under Digital Etiquette and Digital Communication.
It takes a village to raise safe, kind kids. Take time this week to talk about kindness and bullying with your students. And if the lesson plans on the website help…fantastic!