10 million students are bullied each year in the US and around 1-6 adolescents is the target of cyberbullying. (No Bully, US National surveys of crime and risky behaviors) Kids spend a lot of time online and their chances of experiencing cyberbullying, haters, and trolls has unfortunately become the new norm. Cyberbullying can be a painful experience for school age children who become the victims of harassment and “digital stoning” via social media. Kids and adolescents often find it hard to speak with parents and adults and end up feeling isolated, which can sometimes have tragic consequences.
For this National Bullying Prevention Month, Tickle Water, IDT911 and cybersecurity expert Adam Levin are sponsoring No Bully’s New York launch of a special after school pilot program with PAL. No Bully is a non-profit organization that trains schools on how to activate students to combat bullying at the ground level. The non-punitive No Bully System® has created bully-free campuses for over 100,000 students.
Nicholas Carlisle, Founder of No Bully says, “bullying is a growing problem in the US and New York is no exception. Working with PAL, we have seen the aftershocks that bullying can have. It’s exciting to see PAL’s dynamic vision firsthand for building bully free afterschool programs that create safe havens for children.”
No Bully and the Police Athletic League have formed a yearlong partnership to produce a series of anti-bullying training programs, beginning with PAL’s Harlem, Bronx and Brooklyn centers, which provide after school activities for students from 23 feeder schools. The trainings kicked off last week with great success, with the participation of 180 frontline staff. The mission is to shine a light on the importance of equipping teachers, counselors, parents and students with the critical tools to stomp out bullying and cyberbullying and to build a culture of tolerance.
PAL staff were educated on the difference between bullying and harassment and how to interrupt these painful behaviors. In addition, senior leadership staff gathered to begin writing a long-term, substantial policy and procedure document that will apply to all PAL programs, including after school, teen centers, sports, summer day camp and PAL PLAYSTREETS.
“Members of our staff are still telling me, a week after the training, how inspired and empowered they feel after attending the No Bully training. This system gives our staff, at all levels, the tools to intervene in the moment that they witness harassing or bullying behaviors while making both the target and perpetrator feel emotionally safe. It also gives us the opportunity to live our values of respect and tolerance,” said Dana M. Wheeler, PAL Director of Education and Program Development.
PAL Social Worker Tara Brazzano added, “It was truly an amazing experience having Kathy Grey here last week to train our staff. I have been trying to get a program like this for the past four years to be integrated into our culture here, and I think the right program came at the right time for us. I look forward to our partnership and working with No Bully this upcoming year”.
The pilot program is made possible by the financial support of Tickle Water, IDT911 and cybersecurity expert Adam Levin. Tickle Water was founded by Mompreneur Heather McDowell, who was inspired by her son Jayger to create a naturally flavored sparkling water for kids that not only tastes delicious and comes in kid-friendly, stylish clear cans, but also provides parents with a healthy and fun hydration option for their kids. “As a busy working mom, it’s important that our kids have safe places outside of school where they can interact with other children and not be exposed to bullying. When we leave our children with teachers, counselors and coaches, we want them to thrive in an environment of tolerance and respect. Those are the values that I teach my son.”
Adam Levin, founder of award-winning cybersecurity firm IDT911 and author of “Swiped,” believes the No Bully system will raise awareness about the global pandemic of cyberullying. “There is no place in a civilized society for those who would bully others, especially children. While it is unacceptable and dangerous to the health and safety of a child for him or her to be bullied in the classroom or on the playground, the danger grows more acute when that bullying moves into cyberspace. In a matter of minutes, scores, hundreds or even thousands of trolls, like a deadly swarm of bees, can viciously attack a child through texts, posts and photos on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram. Cyberbullying lends itself to a mob mentality. Cloaked in anonymity, cyber bullies can harass at will, know no boundaries and the results can be devastating and even deadly. It is imperative that organizations in both the private and public sectors work together to ensure there are more stringent security and privacy protocols in place to protect children in the classroom, on the playground and after the school bell rings. ”
If you are the victim of cyberbullying, follow these tips:
P ut your device down until you feel safe.
A lways tell a trusted adult what’s happening.
U se your willpower, and don’t respond.
S ave or print out any hurtful messages or photos.
E veryone deserves to be treated kindly, including you!
No Bully® is a US based non-profit organization that trains schools and after school programs how to activate student compassion to stop bullying and cyberbullying. The non-punitive No Bully System® has created bully-free campuses for over 100,000 students. For more information, please visit http://www.nobully.org
Police Athletic League
New York City’s Police Athletic League is the first and finest civilian-run PAL in the country. Founded in 1914, PAL has served the city’s young people for over 100 years. PAL provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to 35,000 boys and girls annually. It is also the city’s largest, independent, nonprofit youth organization. For more information, please visit http://www.palnyc.org
Tickle Water is a premium sparkling water company dedicated to providing parents with an honest hydration option for their children. Tickle Water is the first sparkling water in the market specifically for children, complete with enjoyable flavor options and small plastic cans perfect for kids. Every can of Tickle Water is simply made with premium sparkling water and natural flavors without artificial ingredients or preservatives. For more information, please visit http://www.drinkticklewater.com
Adam K. Levin is a consumer advocate with more than 30 years of experience and is a nationally recognized expert on security, privacy, identity theft, fraud, and personal finance. A former Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Mr. Levin is Chairman and founder of IDT911 (IDentity Theft 911) and co-founder of Credit.com. Adam Levin is the author of Amazon Best Selling Book “Swiped”, in book stores now.
IDT911™ is the leading provider of services that help businesses and their customers defend against data breaches and identity theft. IDT911’s unique approach—delivering proactive protection, preventive education, and swift resolution—offers unrivaled support for more than 660 client partners and 17.5 million households. With its wholly owned subsidiary, IDT911 Consulting™, IDT911 delivers information security and data privacy expertise to help businesses avert and respond to data loss. Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., the company has several locations in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Ireland to serve partners in Europe. For more information, please visithttp://www.idt911.com