Students and staff had the opportunity to attend a two day STOP Cyberbullying Youth Summit which was held in Limerick IT and Facebook International Offices in Dublin on the 7th and 9th May 2015
The first day of the summit determined the direction of the second day. Community stakeholders, from youth to parents and caregivers, to teachers, school administrators and mental health experts, to law enforcement, criminal justice workers and policymakers, to community leaders and not-for-profits, governmental representatives, youth innovators and advocates, industry leaders and international experts participated in the discussions.
During the 1st day 12 students accompanied by Ms Mills (Digital Literacy Teacher) and Sr. Liz listened and participated in workshops on Digital Literacy, the Law and Cyber bullying, Education and its responsibility and Parenting formation re Cyberbullying. On day 2, 41 students were accompanied by Principal Mary Daly, Sr. Liz and three other staff members in further discussions in Facebook Headquarters. The students had the opportunity to listen and question representatives from Facebook, Google, Ask.fm, You Tube, and many other leading Speakers re Law, enforcement and Justice, Social Media Industry and International Best Practices to STOP Cyberbullying. Carol Todd mother of Amanda Todd spoke about the effects of “ a mistake” her daughter made by replying to a request from who she thought was a 12 year old boy (turned out to be a 35 year old man) by sending an inappropriate photo to him, lead to her being “Cyber bullied, excluded and eventually led to her suicide.
The students also met Rosin Mullen who at 7 years old from Canada, who created the “Post it Positive website and are now taking on the idea within their school, to have a Post it Positive Wall.
Another key note speaker at the Summit was Barbara Coloroso an internationally recognized speaker and author in the areas of parenting, teaching, non-violent conflict resolution and reconciliatory justice criminal justice system and other educational associations around the world. Barbara shared her “Circle of Bullying” with the students, showing how even those who are simply bystanders can do something about bullying behaviour.
Throughout the Summit, students were encouraged to STOP (don’t retaliate ) COPY, (to show as evidence) BLOCK (the negative person/people), TELL (a trusted adult who will take the necessary steps to deal with the issue and support the targeted person)
Chloe Powell, 3rd year student who attended both days of the Summit tweeted ” they were an amazing two days, I learnt so much, and I am looking forward to promoting our school as a Cyberbullying Free School”
Sr. Liz believes that the schools moral purpose “not to give up on any student” means they have to continue to offer Continues Professional Development to staff and students so that we can respond to their Academic abilities and their Social and Emotional Needs, as part of their Holistic Dominican Education offered in their school.
Mary Daly stated ‘St Dominic’s was the only Dublin school to attend the Summit and it was a marvellous opportunity for the students to gain a greater understanding of Cyber Bullying and they now wish to participate in further training to become Anti Cyber Bullying Ambassadors in their school and share their experiences and learning with their school community and other schools’
Samantha Phelan a 1st Year participants stated “I found the Cyber Bullying Summit in the Facebook Offices, very interesting because they told us how to be safe online and they told us how to prevent Cyberbullying”