Cyber bullying has its own set of challenges for school counsellors

Bullies are able to abuse from behind the protection of their computer screens.

  • Feb. 22, 2016 8:00 p.m.

elanor Bukach

Student intern

 

With the ever increasing use of the Internet, the bullying playing field has been altered dramatically.

Now, instead of having to confront their victim face to face, bullies are able to abuse from behind the protection of their computer screens.

“I would definitely say that cyber bullying is the biggest issue we are facing now,” said Rich Swanson, counsellor at Highland Secondary.

“I think the biggest thing for students is that it’s not just a school issue anymore. It becomes an outside issue if it’s on the Internet.”

The phenomenon of cyber bullying only makes the issue of bullying that much harder to tackle. Swanson noted that a lot of the bullying situations the school is made aware of happen on weekends or evenings, so the schools themselves have no authority.

Wednesday, Feb. 24 is an anti-bullying awareness day, which has come to be known as Pink Shirt Day, after two Nova Scotia high school students decided to take a stand against bullying.

“(Bullying Awareness Days) make the issues more common place,” said Swanson. “Students basically feel more empowered to do something if they are being bothered or intimidated. They learn some of the steps they can do to stop it.”

Swanson went on to explain the basic steps taken to counter bullying in high schools.

“The first step is a conversation with the bully, and reassuring the victim,” said Swanson. “Then we check in with them within a couple days to see if the bullying has stopped, and usually the first time is enough. If it’s not, at that point, we have the bully back in. We then notify the parent, tell them what’s going on and if it continues beyond that, it becomes more of a disciplinary issue instead of a counselling one. They are then put forward to the vice-principal or the principal of the school. They make it very clear to that person that this type of bullying is not allowed.”

Swanson said that the most important thing is to speak up.

“Don’t let anyone steal your power. Report it to your teacher, your parent, a counsellor, any adult who can then bring it forward and end it. If we know what’s going on then we can make a change.”

Elanor Bukach is a student intern from Highland Secondary, doing a Work Experience placement at the Comox Valley Record

 

Just Posted

Comox Valley Operation Christmas Child shoebox drive entering final days

Deadline for donations is Saturday, November 17

2019 dog licenses now available for Comox Valley Regional District electoral area residents

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) requires all dogs over six months… Continue reading

Agreement signed to purchase, restore, manage Kus-kus-sum

A memorandum of understanding has been officially signed to purchase, restore and… Continue reading

Cumberland moves one step closer to single-use plastic ban

Council discussed a phased ban, starting with plastic bags and straws

Police investigate liquor store robbery in Courtenay

On Nov. 13 at approximately 12:30 p.m., the Comox Valley RCMP received… Continue reading

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh weighs in on Vancouver Island fishing ban

Singh and MacGregor say improving salmon abundance is important

Most Read