I continue to find the statistics about cyberbullying alarming. According to a recent Ipsos Reid study, one in five Canadian teens say they’ve witnessed people they know being bullied on social networking sites, with nearly one in 10 teens reporting they’ve been bullied online. The recent suicide of 16 year old Nova Scotia teen Rehtaeh Parsons is just one of too many heartbreaking stories that we seem to hear about more and more.
At the end of 2012, TELUS launched TELUS WISE (Wise Internet and Smartphone Education), an innovative program that currently focuses on educating our business customers and community partners’ employees and their families about Internet and smartphone safety and security. This week TELUS has introduced a new resource for all Canadian families – TELUS WISE – let’s discuss cyberbullying – the first in a series of TELUS WISE educational videos.
TELUS WISE – let’s discuss cyberbullying puts cyberbullying in the context of social relationships while providing valuable tips for parents, children and caregivers. Intended to spark discussion, this short video is introduced by me and features Bill Belsey, teacher, cyberbullying expert and founder of bullying.org and cyberbullying.ca, team member and TELUS WISE Ambassador, Caroline Wiggins, and three young students – Angela, Lochlan and Seonae – discussing cyberbullying. Bill’s key message is how important it is that victims of cyberbullying know that their friends are there to support them.
I encourage you to visit our YouTube channel to watch TELUS WISE – let’s discuss cyberbullying. Also let us know what you think of the video and help us create awareness about this important social issue by sharing the video with family, friends and colleagues.
For me, the resounding message is that we can’t think ‘it won’t happen to my child’. As parents, we can take action by starting the cyberbullying discussion with our kids early and talking about it often. By talking about it and by educating ourselves through resources available to us, like this video, and our TELUS WISE program, we can help keep our kids safe online and off.
All the best,