A team of senior student leaders are trained in the Cyber Savvy Schools Programme to become catalyst in their schools with the aim to support safe and positive online and offline experiences for both peers and teachers.
Cyberbullying is when bullying happens in the online/texting environment. Harmful digital communications can take many forms. It can involve emails, website content, texts, blog posts, comments sections, online forum ‘chat rooms’, social networks or media sites and phone based app’s. New Zealand now has the Harmful Digital Communications Act (2015) which makes it illegal to post online with the intention or result of causing harm.
We offer two 4 hour workshops to train/coach a cyber safety student leadership team (The Cyber Savvy Schools Programme). This team (with support from the Teacher in Charge, school management and a VFC mentor) will share this knowledge, provide support to other students, and create pro-social and awareness events/initiatives.
The Cyber Savvy Schools Programme is developed from and resourced by Telethon Kids Institute in Australia. It is based on a comprehensive four-year research project that involved over 40,000 students, and their teachers and parents, across Australia. Violence Free Communities has partnered with Telethon Kids Institute and project leader Professor Donna Cross to offer this programme for the first time to schools in New Zealand.
In Auckland NZ, our Cyber Student Leadership Teams are called Youth CyberZone (YCZ). Each school will have a trained Youth CyberZone team with two Lead Co-ordinators. The Lead Co-ordinators meet regularly with their teams and the VFC Co-ordinator. YCZ Lead Co-ordinators from different schools will also meet to strategize, collaborate and support each other for a broader reach and stronger impact.
Youth CyberZone is also in relationship with Netsafe. They not only support the programme, but have also assisted with the legal module and ensuring it’s relevance to NZ law.
Netsafe is NZ’s preferred agency dealing with the Harmful Digital Communications Act. Any serious issues arising are referred to Netsafe.
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