A group of P.E.I. school children and one of the world’s leading experts on cyberbullying delivered a list of recommendations to the premier on Friday to curb the problem on P.E.I.
“Cyberbullying is a huge issue, it's every day, every minute, every hour to somebody and it should be stopped,” said Megan Poole.
She said the problem of cyberbulling is hard to ignore for young Islander. But on Friday she and 12 other students behind the StopCyberbullying Youth Community Action Plan sat around the premier's table to focus on solutions.
Armed with personal stories of taunting, teasing and abuse online, they handed over a list of recommendations for P.E.I.’s leaders.
Some of the key recommendations include:
- A peer-run helpline for victims to talk about their problems
- A provincial youth advisory group
- A provincial safety co-ordinator to monitor bullying in schools
“Most kids should not feel alone during this, they should know people are out there to help,” said Nicholas Carelse.
The ideas grew out of a bullying summit last November, led by digital safety specialist Parry Aftab.
“It's hard being a teen these days. It was hard when we were growing up but it's a lot harder now when you can't escape your reputation. You can't move and set things right. Your Facebook page will follow you for the rest of your life,” she said.
Aftab said the premier indicated to her the province would try to help, either by allocating funds or shifting existing provincial resources.
Premier Robert Ghiz said the province needs to pay more attention.
”It's one of those issues, like any other issue, if you don't have someone who's dealing with this on a daily basis it can fall through the cracks," he said.
"I want to make sure that this is something that stays at the forefront."