New ideas on how to deal with cyber bullying were presented at an information session at Kyabram Plaza Theatre last week.
Kyabram and district youth have been urged to take a STAND against cyber bullying.
Renowned speaker Andrew Fuller shared some fresh ideas on how to deal with the new generation of information technology at an information session at Kyabram Plaza Theatre last week.
He said victims of cyber bullying should consider:
Silence — do not respond to abusive messages. The number one rule for dealing with cyber bullying is: don’t respond, don’t interact and don’t engage.
Take a copy of all abusive messages — these may be useful legally later on. Create a new folder, called ‘‘Abuse’’, and move hate texts into it (out of your regular viewing, but in safe keeping) in case of future legal action.
Accept that bullies don’t think like you do — trying to sort it out with them or asking them to stop won’t work. Recognise that you are not dealing with a person who has the same mindset as yourself. Cyber bullies are cowards who often try to hide their identity and behave in nasty ways to build themselves up and to put other people down; a pathetic act.
Never deal with this problem alone — get help. No-one can cope with this alone.
Don’t be provoked. Some cyber bullies play ‘‘the baiting game’’. A provocative comment is made and those who respond in irritation are encouraged to engage in conflict with those who respond assertively. The provoker watches, waits and stirs the pot.
Mr Fuller said cyber bullying was here to stay and was an issue society needed to deal with.
Kyabram police Acting Sergeant Peter Law and Campaspe police Inspector Martin Dorman, who also spoke at the three information sessions, said there was no doubt problems with cyber misuse existed in their district.
During the day, Kyabram P-12 and St Augustine’s P -12 College senior students attended. After school, the district’s teachers were invited and in the evening the Plaza Theatre was open for the public.
As a result, hundreds of local people once again benefited from the work of the Kyabram Cyber Safety Committee.
Mr Fuller, who has been a principal consultant to the national drug prevention strategy REDI and the ABC on children’s television shows, is an ambassador for Mind Matters and is a member of the National Coalition Against Bullying, complimented parents and community members present at the evening event.
Comment some people present made indicated concern that more families were not represented as even the most competent families may not know of the dangers nor cope if cyber bullying occurs in their home.
Local students also contributed to the program. They included Nick Stock, Steven Bently (KCLC), Michael Coombs, Nathan Bray, Sam Clohesy-Moreton (Kyabram P-12 College) and Lewis Freeman, Mason Watson, James Purcell (St Augustine’s College).
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