Anti Cyber Bullying Workshop hosted at UN House

Shut Down Cyber Bullying, an Anti Cyber bullying initiative by the Rotary Club of Barbados, hosted a workshop with over 40 secondary school principals, guidance counsellors, PAREDOS members and social workers at the United Nations Headquarters last week to develop new anti cyberbullying guidelines and resources for schools.

“Online issues affect us all and with young people spending more time online than ever before it’s crucial that school leaders understand the positives and negatives of internet culture within their communities and have the management strategies required.” These were the sentiments of Paediatric and Adult Psychiatrist Dr. Shirley Alleyne, a member of the Shut Down Cyber Bullying committee.

Janice Jemmott, Head of the Barbados Guidance Counsellor's Association, speaking at the workshop. Further information and anti cyber bullying resources can be found at The Rotary Club of Barbados' website www.shutdowncyberbullying.com or on their Facebook page.

Janice Jemmott, Head of the Barbados Guidance Counsellor’s Association, speaking at the workshop. Further information and anti cyber bullying resources can be found at The Rotary Club of Barbados’ website www.shutdowncyberbullying.com or on their Facebook page.

The workshop was designed to be interactive and to flip the conventional conference model by recognising the expertise of the attendees and allowing them a platform for open debate. There were workshops and discussions focused on delivering the new resources, panel discussions and keynotes from industry and academic experts.

Shut It Down’s Chairman, Annie Bertrand commented “We know that cyberbullying is the key online safety issue that schools face; and we know the serious long-lasting impact it can have on children. In the development of our guidance and teaching resources we have been consulting with young people, teachers and experts to collect practical strategies for effectively preventing and responding to cyberbullying. These interactive events are an opportunity for all key stakeholders; to share their experiences and thinking with their peers and fellow attendees.”

One of the school principals commented that “Cyber-bullying is often invisible to adults and often begins in thesafe spaceof the home, but continues on or offline within the school so it has become a genuine management challenge for school leaders as the boundaries of home and school are now blurred. These events are a vital opportunity to learn best practice and how we can safeguard, inform and support this digital generation.”

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