Sunday, October 17, 2010
Cyberbulling Site Offers Self-Assessments for Students
Slimy, creepy crawlies are the ugly image of cyberbullying in a new interactive website aimed at children in the years before high school.
Created by the non-profit organisation SchoolAid, CureTheBullies targets children between eight and 12 years of age who may witness bullying behaviour or even act as accomplices to bullies through their use of email, social networking or text messaging.
An online self-discovery test helps children identify passive bystander behaviour in themselves and offers them tools and advice on how to rid themselves of "Bullies Viruses".
Six cyberbullying behaviours have been turned into slimy viruses in the interactive program. If infected, kids use a "cure" such as Understanding or Courage to defeat their virus.
For instance, a "Gang Green" infection has the symptom of ganging up on someone on Facebook, blogs or forums. Its cure is "Friendship".
Kids infected with "Forwarditis" exhibit symptoms of forwarding emails, pictures or messages that could make someone feel bad. The cure is "Understanding".
SchoolAid founder Sean Gordon says there's an urgent need to address the issue of passive, bystander behaviour around cyberbullying.
"CureTheBullies will mobilise kids to take a stand, not because a teacher or parent tells them to, but because they understand that bullying and bystander behaviours are potentially in everyone - but they can be changed," he said in a statement on Tuesday.