Cyberbullying is the subject students and parents in Warman, Sask. are learning about today.
A session held at Warman High School aimed to help students and parents understand what cyberbullying is exactly, what it is not, and what to do about it.
Bullying and cyberbullying
At least 1 in 3 adolescent students in Canada have reported being bullied recently.
Over 50 per cent of those who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual have seriously considered suicide.
37 per cent reported an attempt.
Approximately 40 per cent of adolescents report that they both bully others and are bullied.
22 per cent of students reported being the target of at least one form of cyberbullying
30 per cent report cyberbullying others.
Over half of bullied children do not report being bullied to a teacher.
Almost 70 per cent of the children reported witnessing at least one form of bullying at least once in the past 3 weeks.
Source: Government of Saskatchewan
Brian Trainor, a retired Saskatoon police sergeant, led the session in front of hundreds of students. Since retiring, Trainor spends his days teaching students about the dangers of the digital world, whether they are the bullied or the bullies.
"The toughest thing about investigating bullying is where do you start?" Trainor said. "Who said what?"
Some of the teens, including Grade 11 student Chelsea Brothwell, said they have already witnessed bullying.
"It was heartbreaking to see kind of how it would probably hurt someone," Brothwell said. "I would hate to be in that position."
Russell Dyck, Vice-Principal at Warman High School, said claims of bullying are often hard to sort out.
"Text messaging, Facebook, Twitter - it can be very difficult to find out where was the source and when did this start," Dyck said.
Students in Warman were told if they think they're being cyberbullied, don't respond in kind because it only makes it harder for teachers and police to figure out who is the bully. The students were told to tell someone in authority right away.
The lesson comes in the wake the case of North Battleford's Todd Loik. In September 2013, Loik committed suicide and his mother claimed unrelenting online bullying was a contributing factor.
This week, RCMP said after a lengthy search of the digital record they can find no evidence of harassment, criminal or otherwise. Many questions remain, including what exactly happened.