I am so excited to share the news that I am a now Youth Ambassador for Bystander Revolution! Bystander Revolution is an anti-bullying organization founded in April 2014 with a mission to inspire and motivate people to take the power out of bullying with simple acts of kindness, courage, and inclusion
Season after season begins with hope and promise, but ends with disappointment. The hopelessness of being a Leaf fan may continue to affect the franchise's followers, and therefore the bottom line, unless they look at alternative ways to mend that relationship. Building trust through social media is the best way to reach the most powerful fan demographic to date.
The Internet is without a doubt one of the greatest innovations of our time. It, along with social media, has allowed us to connect with loved ones and like-minded people. However, it has also created a climate where humiliation, trolling, and cyberbullying are as easy as standing on a virtual soap-box and snidely tapping a few keystrokes for the world to see. We each need to play our part in acting with empathy and compassion.
If you and your teen aren't comfortable talking about sexting, talk to them about online safety by reminding them not to share personal information online -- like their real name, age, or phone number, or any other identifying information such as where they live, or the name of their high school. This includes anything that might show up in the background of a photo. And make sure they understand that there can be a risk in talking to strangers online -- not everyone is who they might seem.
In recent years, some parents might have found themselves wondering: "What is the link between bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide?" "Is bullying worse than when I was a kid?" "What can I do to keep my kid safe?" For many parents, it's easy to slide into worry-mode. But it's important for parents to be mindful of how they are reacting to stories they are hearing in the media or within the community.
The potential destruction of terrorism is infinitesimally smaller than the damage done to our rights by a disproportionate attempt to prevent it. Please. Please remember this. It's even more important now, when that fact is so easily forgotten in the wake of the attack on our Parliament and the tragic deaths of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. We cannot allow the extreme actions of a few to strip us of the freedoms those soldiers worked so hard to protect. But the Canadian government continues to roll back our rights in the name of "security."
With the school year back in full swing, it's a great time to revisit a topic that affects students, parents and teachers equally: social media. While social media use continues to grow and becomes increasingly common place, it is nonetheless an area of contention, particularly when it comes to kids -- both in and outside of the classroom.
But a new battle is raging, and as pleased as I am to see so many people outraged by a young actress' right to sexual privacy being violated, I can't help but ask; why such an outcry for Jennifer Lawrence? It has always been disgusting to see so many young women, celebrity or no, be abused by the absurdity of non-consensual pornography, so why are we choosing to be outraged now? Shouldn't we have brought this up a long time ago?
As a society, we really need to stop pulling out the bully card with such ease and lack of thought to its meaning. More so as mothers, we really need to stop overusing it, labelling each other as one when we don't like what another mother has said. Otherwise, the word and definition will lose all meaning, giving real bullies power to carry on.
There are few rights more important in any healthy democracy than the right to privacy. When citizens believe they are being watched, their willingness to engage in democratic debate is eroded, which in turn undermines our whole democratic process. Yet we clearly have a privacy deficit in this country.
This morning I spoke before The House of Commons' Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and shared my thoughts on Bill C-13. I know there are concerns with C-13 and believe me, if there was something better on the table I'd be all over it. There isn't, not that I can see. Police have to have the ability to act fast when it comes to cyber-crime or their response is pointless. Our children's rights and privacy is already being violated -- violated by some of the sickest people you can imagine. If it's a choice between them and the police I'm siding with the police.
For the last year I've been speaking and writing at length about the issue Bill C-13 claims to tackle. While the bill's name in the press is the "Cyber-bullying Bill," the more specific problem addressed by components of Bill C-13 is known as "revenge porn," a term I hate for both its inaccuracy and sexualized sensationalism. After a year of arguing for legislation that criminalizes cyber-sexual assault, I cannot support the legislation as written. I cannot trade one set of civil rights for another. We should separate the components of Bill C-13 that deal directly with cyber-sexual assault from those that do not, and debate them as different pieces of legislation.
Today marks one year since I last saw my daughter Rehtaeh alive. The last time we spoke, the last good bye, and the last "I love you." She got out of my car and walked into her mom's house. On the way home she asked if we could stop at McDonald's. How I wish we did, one last time. Rae passed away April 7, 2013. It's been a year-long nightmare but I try to keep hold of myself. Now that I'm outspoken about our daughter's struggles I've unfortunately attracted the attention of the worst society has to offer. They send messages reminding me Rehtaeh is "worm food," she's dead because I failed as a father. But it's mainly through talking that I've learned the difference Rehtaeh made and the impact she's had on others.