Learning about ways to stop bullying and cyberbullying

There will be a Special Lecture for all IE classes on bullying and cyberbullying by representatives of TELL at 3rd period (from 13:20) on Tuesday May 30th. As the presentation room is large, any interested party may feel free to attend the lecture even if they do not have an IE class to bring with them.

We strongly encourage all Tuesday Core and IE Seminar teachers to bring their classes to this event. Those who have classes concurrent with the lecture include Chris Parham, Arno F., Mark Gray, Jacob Schnickel, Hamilton Armstrong, Paul Harper, Deborah Bollinger, Loren Bundt, Paul Howl, Will Zhanje, and Joseph Dias. Help your students prepare for the talk by referring them to these resources on bullying offered by TELL.

EVENT: Lecture and workshop on effective ways to stop bullying
TITLE: Confronting Bullying
WHERE: Aoyama Gakuin University (Aoyama Campus): Building 17, Room 311
WHEN: Tuesday 30 May 2017; from 3rd period (from 13:20 – 14:50)
SPEAKERS: Vickie Skorji (TELL Lifeline Director) and Najwa Waheed Naohara (TELL Outreach Coordinator)

Please have your students go DIRECTLY to the lecture room. It is disruptive to the speaker when streams of students arrive while a talk is in progress.

We have a large venue for this talk, so please pass the word to people in other departments and, if you happen to be teaching a class for another department at the time of this lecture, and would like to attend with your students, you may do so. Please let me know though so I can make certain that we have the capacity.

Speaker Introductions

Vickie Skorji
TELL Lifeline Director

Mrs Vickie Skorji completed her Bachelor of Behavioral Sciences with honors from La Trobe University, Australia in 1995, and a Masters in Counseling from Monash University in Australia. She has specialist training in neuropsychology and Acquired Brain Injury in both hospital and rehabilitation settings. Prior to moving to Hong Kong & Tokyo she managed an Acquired Brain Injury Support Service in Australia, supporting families and individuals with a variety of neurological conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke and migraine. She has developed and run carer education training courses, carer weekend retreats and published a resource book for carers of people with neurological conditions or Acquired Brain Injury. She has developed and given both workplace and community presentations on carer needs, stress management and stroke prevention. More recently her interests and presentations have included cultural adjustment, adolescent issues in Japan, work life balance and suicide prevention.

Najwa Waheed Naohara
Outreach Coordinator at TELL

She oversees various outreach programs such as the TELL Exceptional Parenting Program, TELL Lifeline School Awareness Program and TELL Anti-Bullying Program. She has given anti-bullying workshops at various international schools in the Tokyo area.

General Background on Bullying

What is bullying?

Bullying can take many different forms—physical, verbal, or emotional—and can be direct or indirect. It involves unwanted aggressive behavior toward an individual that involves a power imbalance, whether real or perceived. Cyberbullying involves the use of cell phones, instant messaging, email, chat rooms, or social networking sites to harass, threaten, or intimidate. Whatever the form, the intent is to make someone else feel bad. Sadly, most children worldwide will experience some form of bullying while at school; and for many, it’s ongoing.

What are the negative effects of bullying?

Bullying is associated with such negative consequences as low self-esteem, school absenteeism, a drop in grades, mental health issues, and even suicide. A recent U.S. meta analysis of 491 bullying studies found a significant correlation between bullying and thoughts of suicide, along with suicide attempts—and it is stronger in youth (according to Gini and Espelage, 2014).

How is cyberbullying different from conventional bullying?

Unlike conventional bullying, cyberbullying can happen 24/7. Messages and images can be posted anonymously and instantly distributed to a wide audience. It can be difficult to trace the source, and even harder to delete inappropriate or harassing content once posted.

How serious is the cyberbullying problem in Japan?

In 2013, the Japanese Education Ministry reported nearly 200,000 cases of school bullying. Of these, nearly 1,000 were reported to the police, and 196 suicides occurred. Cyberbullying made up 4.7 percent of all reported cases, a 12-percent increase from 2012. The government also reported that, on average, students aged 10-17 spent 107 minutes per day on mobile devices, and more than two hours a day online. Nara University clinical psychologist Tokuhiro Ikejima says, “In Japan, bullying tends to happen between very close friends, and the situation is often worsened because bystanders do not try to intervene. The bullying often takes the form of social exclusion rather than violence.”

What are some legal measures to stop bullying?

Countries across the world are hurrying to combat cyberbullying. In June 2013, Japan’s National Diet enacted an anti-bullying bill to prevent increasingly serious cases in reaction to a string of incidents that led to suicides and murder. As of April 1, 2015, Aichi Prefecture introduced a law banning the use of smartphones and mobile devices after 9 pm for children aged 6-15 years. The curfew aims to discourage children from spending an unhealthy amount of time on electronic devices, as well as reducing online bullying. However, laws are only one part of the equation; bullying is an issue that needs attention from the whole community.

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