Burnaby Mounties who work with youth will share information about cyberbullying and how to deal with it at a community presentation this Thursday.
Parents of cyber bullies and their victims alike will get information from Const. Frank Tarape, the leader of Burnaby RCMP’s youth investigative team (school liaison officers) and Kaylie Maughan, the detachment’s restorative justice co-ordinator.
Topics will include understanding cyberbullying – why it happens, and how to prevent it; tips for parents on how to respond to cyberbullying; tips on social media use and internet safety; and trends of cyberbullying in schools.
Burnaby students and parents already get information about online safety and digital responsibility from the school district, but RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Kalanj said the more parents who get the message the better.
He said officers have noticed a cycle when it comes cyberbullying among youth.
“You teach one set of kids, then a year goes by, and the kids that did it last year might have learned, and now there’s a new set of kids that are hitting that age,” he said.
Maughan will be at the meeting to explain what happens when cyberbullying or other youth offences reach the criminal level, like when it includes threats that fall under the Criminal Code or the sharing of explicit images of youth under 18.
“If someone does cross the line and it could be criminal, more often than not, they’ll try and go restorative justice instead of letting the criminal system take care of it,” Kalanj said. “If we can get the kids involved in that, it saves everyone. It’s more of a learning tool.”
The cyberbullying presentation is part of the Burnaby RCMP’s Safe Community Series.
It takes place Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the council chamber at city hall, 4949 Canada Way.
The presentation is free but registration is suggested.
RSVP to the crime prevention unit by Wednesday at 604-646-9811 or email@example.com.