Words have power, and now, more than ever, these words, used in a negative and mean connotation, have a grave impact on society and are becoming more prevalent online in the cyberbullying of youth.
In an attempt to counteract this — and educate their classmates — students and staff at MacDonald Drive Junior High in St. John’s will be part of a global event on Thursday from 1:30-5:30 p.m., an initiative driven by the WE Rise Above campaign that is promoting positive online behaviour. The global online event, WE Day Connect, will be running from 2:30-4 p.m. NT.
“We hope to make more people aware and show them bullying is wrong,’’ Silvi Ivardi, a member of the school’s leadership committee, said Tuesday.
“We are trying our best to attract all the students, and hopefully they all will attend,’’ she added, noting she and her classmates had learned about citizenship and online safety as part of their social studies classes.
And because the event is aimed at online bullying, Macdonald Drive will be part of an online event featuring participants from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Kenya and India.
“This will be a celebration of students making a difference and taking action against bullying. Our hope is this gets the message out to everyone."
— Daniel Blackmore, Macdonald Drive student council president.
The WE Rise Above campaign promotes positive online behaviour and creates awareness of the power and impact online words and actions have, and creates a positive and friendlier place online.
Participants will be asked to take a pledge to be kind and respectful online, and help make digital space safer.
Cyberbullying includes sending, posting or sharing negative or harmful content about someone else.
Macdonald Drive is a WE school and participates in the various activities the organization carries out, all in the hope of making the world a better place. Students at Macdonald Drive are champion change-makers, having participated in more than 10 WE Schools action campaigns during the 2017-18 school year.
This year’s program will pair the students with the WE group and TELUS to exact a change in online behaviour. TELUS is helping youth find ways to rise above cyberbullying and create positive change in their communities.
The online audiences that are part of the program on Thursday will hear from remarkable students who will share their personal journeys and how they are making an impact today, including students.
The tools and resources provided to the students show them how to protect their digital footprint, keep themselves and others safe while online, and protect their reputation online.
WE is a group of organizations that makes doing good, doable.
To learn more, visit WE.org/wedayconnect and tune in to WE Day Connect on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. NT via Facebook Live.