Working to raise greater awareness of cyber abuse

News Mar 30, 2016 by Mike Peeling Brant News

Two mothers who lost their young daughters to suicide made it clear cyber bullying should actually be called cyber abuse during a panel discussion at Laurier Brantford.

Assistant professor of youth and child studies and psychology Danielle Law brought the panel together to discuss the issue in front of her students last Wednesday. The panel included Brook Gardner of Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services, youth representative Dylan Stewart, youth probation officer Frank Casale, social worker Marc Laferriere, mother Janie Jamieson of Six Nations and mother Carol Todd of British Columbia.

Todd has been travelling the world speaking about how her 15-year-old daughter Amanda was continually abused, bullied and hounded online for flashing her chest on a web camera. Amanda took her life after suffering many months of abuse.

Jamieson’s 13-year-old daughter Jewel Monture committed suicide after dealing with constant ridicule and shaming for being a successful performer.

“We really need to work hard to bring awareness to how we should speak to children about bullying and what we can do to help,” Law said.

Todd said she has learned cyber abuse is a problem around the world that doesn’t change from country to country.

“Kids tell me they don’t want to be talked at,” she said. “They want to be talked with.”

Todd said she has often found, more in Canada than the U.S., that some schools have turned her down as a guest speaker because the topic of suicide is such a big part of her story.

“Unfortunately, we don’t always get the capacity at my talks,” she said. “Too many people don’t want to talk about it.”

Todd said it took her two years before she could talk openly about suicide, but has since realized she has to “say it like it is” so that there is “less likely to be abuse.”

“We need to learn the right language and tools,” she said.

Most of the panel, including Stewart, said they had difficulty relating to what it’s like to be bullied and abused online because they completed school before it became commonplace.

Stewart said he believes cyber bullying is worse in ways because people feel freer to take part thanks to the anonymity the internet provides.

“Anyone can say anything to anyone,” he said. “People who might not bully someone physically might start online. And there’s no break from the internet. It’s always there.”

Jamieson said suicide has affected her family, having lost several family members to it. She lost her mother when she was three years old and had a troubled childhood.

Giving birth to Jewel at age 26 was “a healing process” for her. Jewel was a dance champion many times over by age 12, appeared in a Kevin Spacey movie and was often spoiled with nice things and travel because of her success.

Not just kids, but an adult woman wrote her awful messages online. Beyond the cyber bullying, Jamieson later learned her daughter was physically attacked at school.

Unlike Amanda, who had become distant from her family and been cutting herself, Jewel showed no such signs of being troubled to her mother.

“She still slept with me at age 12 and my husband would get kicked out,” Jamieson said. “But no matter what, kids don’t tell their parents everything.”

In retrospect, Jamieson believes Jewel didn’t confide in her because she didn’t want her mother to take on her problems in her often fierce manner.

“She knew I’m outspoken and take direct action,” she said. “My ferocity as a mother may have compelled her to not to tell me things.”

In 2013, Six Nations introduced Canada’s first anti-bullying legislation called Jewel’s Law after working with Jamieson.

“I hope the Criminal Code of Canada will catch up,” she said. “I don’t know how they haven’t put their foot down and started caring about our children. It happens to adults, too.”

Laferriere talked about how he has been bullied while running for public office, including threats against his family.

“People should treat going online like going into a coffee shop,” he said. “You shouldn’t say anything online you wouldn’t say out loud in a coffee shop.”

Ironically, Laferriere said spreading knowledge to stop bullying can and has been done effectively through social media.

For more information about Amanda Todd’s story and anti-bullying resources, visit nobullying.com.

Working to raise greater awareness of cyber abuse

Mothers discuss teen girls who committed suicide

News Mar 30, 2016 by Mike Peeling Brant News

Two mothers who lost their young daughters to suicide made it clear cyber bullying should actually be called cyber abuse during a panel discussion at Laurier Brantford.

Assistant professor of youth and child studies and psychology Danielle Law brought the panel together to discuss the issue in front of her students last Wednesday. The panel included Brook Gardner of Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services, youth representative Dylan Stewart, youth probation officer Frank Casale, social worker Marc Laferriere, mother Janie Jamieson of Six Nations and mother Carol Todd of British Columbia.

Todd has been travelling the world speaking about how her 15-year-old daughter Amanda was continually abused, bullied and hounded online for flashing her chest on a web camera. Amanda took her life after suffering many months of abuse.

Jamieson’s 13-year-old daughter Jewel Monture committed suicide after dealing with constant ridicule and shaming for being a successful performer.

“We really need to work hard to bring awareness to how we should speak to children about bullying and what we can do to help,” Law said.

Todd said she has learned cyber abuse is a problem around the world that doesn’t change from country to country.

“Kids tell me they don’t want to be talked at,” she said. “They want to be talked with.”

Todd said she has often found, more in Canada than the U.S., that some schools have turned her down as a guest speaker because the topic of suicide is such a big part of her story.

“Unfortunately, we don’t always get the capacity at my talks,” she said. “Too many people don’t want to talk about it.”

Todd said it took her two years before she could talk openly about suicide, but has since realized she has to “say it like it is” so that there is “less likely to be abuse.”

“We need to learn the right language and tools,” she said.

Most of the panel, including Stewart, said they had difficulty relating to what it’s like to be bullied and abused online because they completed school before it became commonplace.

Stewart said he believes cyber bullying is worse in ways because people feel freer to take part thanks to the anonymity the internet provides.

“Anyone can say anything to anyone,” he said. “People who might not bully someone physically might start online. And there’s no break from the internet. It’s always there.”

Jamieson said suicide has affected her family, having lost several family members to it. She lost her mother when she was three years old and had a troubled childhood.

Giving birth to Jewel at age 26 was “a healing process” for her. Jewel was a dance champion many times over by age 12, appeared in a Kevin Spacey movie and was often spoiled with nice things and travel because of her success.

Not just kids, but an adult woman wrote her awful messages online. Beyond the cyber bullying, Jamieson later learned her daughter was physically attacked at school.

Unlike Amanda, who had become distant from her family and been cutting herself, Jewel showed no such signs of being troubled to her mother.

“She still slept with me at age 12 and my husband would get kicked out,” Jamieson said. “But no matter what, kids don’t tell their parents everything.”

In retrospect, Jamieson believes Jewel didn’t confide in her because she didn’t want her mother to take on her problems in her often fierce manner.

“She knew I’m outspoken and take direct action,” she said. “My ferocity as a mother may have compelled her to not to tell me things.”

In 2013, Six Nations introduced Canada’s first anti-bullying legislation called Jewel’s Law after working with Jamieson.

“I hope the Criminal Code of Canada will catch up,” she said. “I don’t know how they haven’t put their foot down and started caring about our children. It happens to adults, too.”

Laferriere talked about how he has been bullied while running for public office, including threats against his family.

“People should treat going online like going into a coffee shop,” he said. “You shouldn’t say anything online you wouldn’t say out loud in a coffee shop.”

Ironically, Laferriere said spreading knowledge to stop bullying can and has been done effectively through social media.

For more information about Amanda Todd’s story and anti-bullying resources, visit nobullying.com.

Working to raise greater awareness of cyber abuse

Mothers discuss teen girls who committed suicide

News Mar 30, 2016 by Mike Peeling Brant News

Two mothers who lost their young daughters to suicide made it clear cyber bullying should actually be called cyber abuse during a panel discussion at Laurier Brantford.

Assistant professor of youth and child studies and psychology Danielle Law brought the panel together to discuss the issue in front of her students last Wednesday. The panel included Brook Gardner of Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services, youth representative Dylan Stewart, youth probation officer Frank Casale, social worker Marc Laferriere, mother Janie Jamieson of Six Nations and mother Carol Todd of British Columbia.

Todd has been travelling the world speaking about how her 15-year-old daughter Amanda was continually abused, bullied and hounded online for flashing her chest on a web camera. Amanda took her life after suffering many months of abuse.

Jamieson’s 13-year-old daughter Jewel Monture committed suicide after dealing with constant ridicule and shaming for being a successful performer.

“We really need to work hard to bring awareness to how we should speak to children about bullying and what we can do to help,” Law said.

Todd said she has learned cyber abuse is a problem around the world that doesn’t change from country to country.

“Kids tell me they don’t want to be talked at,” she said. “They want to be talked with.”

Todd said she has often found, more in Canada than the U.S., that some schools have turned her down as a guest speaker because the topic of suicide is such a big part of her story.

“Unfortunately, we don’t always get the capacity at my talks,” she said. “Too many people don’t want to talk about it.”

Todd said it took her two years before she could talk openly about suicide, but has since realized she has to “say it like it is” so that there is “less likely to be abuse.”

“We need to learn the right language and tools,” she said.

Most of the panel, including Stewart, said they had difficulty relating to what it’s like to be bullied and abused online because they completed school before it became commonplace.

Stewart said he believes cyber bullying is worse in ways because people feel freer to take part thanks to the anonymity the internet provides.

“Anyone can say anything to anyone,” he said. “People who might not bully someone physically might start online. And there’s no break from the internet. It’s always there.”

Jamieson said suicide has affected her family, having lost several family members to it. She lost her mother when she was three years old and had a troubled childhood.

Giving birth to Jewel at age 26 was “a healing process” for her. Jewel was a dance champion many times over by age 12, appeared in a Kevin Spacey movie and was often spoiled with nice things and travel because of her success.

Not just kids, but an adult woman wrote her awful messages online. Beyond the cyber bullying, Jamieson later learned her daughter was physically attacked at school.

Unlike Amanda, who had become distant from her family and been cutting herself, Jewel showed no such signs of being troubled to her mother.

“She still slept with me at age 12 and my husband would get kicked out,” Jamieson said. “But no matter what, kids don’t tell their parents everything.”

In retrospect, Jamieson believes Jewel didn’t confide in her because she didn’t want her mother to take on her problems in her often fierce manner.

“She knew I’m outspoken and take direct action,” she said. “My ferocity as a mother may have compelled her to not to tell me things.”

In 2013, Six Nations introduced Canada’s first anti-bullying legislation called Jewel’s Law after working with Jamieson.

“I hope the Criminal Code of Canada will catch up,” she said. “I don’t know how they haven’t put their foot down and started caring about our children. It happens to adults, too.”

Laferriere talked about how he has been bullied while running for public office, including threats against his family.

“People should treat going online like going into a coffee shop,” he said. “You shouldn’t say anything online you wouldn’t say out loud in a coffee shop.”

Ironically, Laferriere said spreading knowledge to stop bullying can and has been done effectively through social media.

For more information about Amanda Todd’s story and anti-bullying resources, visit nobullying.com.