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November 12 to 17 is Bullying Awareness Week in Canada. To mark the week, MediaSmarts has joined Facebook, Family Channel, PREVNet, Concerned Children’s Advertisers, Kids Help Phone, Free The Children and STOPcyberbullying.org to launch the Be Bold: Stop Bullying campaign in Canada.
While most interactions are positive, increasingly kids are using these communication tools to antagonize and intimidate others. According to a 2008 University of Toronto cyberbullying survey, nearly one in five Canadian students surveyed reported having been bullied online in the past three months. An Alberta study found that one-third of students who had cyberbullied, had also been victims themselves.
The Internet is a social medium made up of communities, cliques, and groups. While this is usually positive, sometimes people engage intimidation or harassment. This section explores the myths and realities of cyberbullying and offers tips for adults to help young people who are involved in it.
Level: Grades 7 and 8
Duration: One hour per activity
Author: Emmanuelle Erny-Newton, Media Education Specialist, MediaSmarts
This lesson allows students to explore the concept of civic participation in the creation of Canadian laws through a study of the consultation process found in the Canada Gazette. Students will create their own School Gazette by proposing and discussing rules against cyberbullying at school.
Cyberbullying can be addressed under civil law or criminal law, based on the situation.
Civil law: This is the branch of law that deals with property rights, personal dignity and freedom from injury. Under civil law, there are three approaches to cyberbullying:
Here are some statistics which illustrate the scale of the problem: roughly a quarter of young people report having been targets of cyberbullying.  However, the risk is not equal for all students. Many of the things that make youth targets of offline bullying – poverty , disability , being a member of a visible minority group  and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) status  – increase the odds of being a target of cyberbullying as well.
In this sequel to Privacy Playground, for ages 8-10, the three CyberPigs learn some important lessons about authenticating online information and observing rules of netiquette. They also learn how to distinguish between fact and opinion and how to recognize bias and harmful stereotyping in online content. As Les, Mo and Lil discover, "just because it's on the Internet, doesn't mean it's true."