Nova Scotia elementary students tackle cyberbullying with new video

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It's an issue that's all too prevalent among young people in our region, one that often has damaging and long lasting effects. Cyberbullying is a widespread and often difficult issue to tackle but it's a challenge that one group of elementary students in our region are meeting head on. Global's Natasha Pace reports. – Jun 20, 2016

A very special screening took place Monday afternoon at Aspotogan Elementary School in Hubbards, Nova Scotia.

After a month of hard work, a video entitled “We Care” was officially debuted. It was created to explain cyberbullying to students.

“[Cyberbullying is] basically like bullying but you don’t even have to go up to the person to do it,” Grade 5 student Dustin Johnston said.

The Grade 5 class at the school was chosen to make the video as a reward — last year, the same class struggled with respecting one another.

“On three occasions I was called into the class to speak on bullying, cyberbullying and healthy relationships,” RCMP school liaison officer Const. Rod Francis, said.

READ MORE: NS government still has no timeline for new anti-cyberbullying law

Francis says the students have learned from their mistakes and now want to bring the caring message to others. “We Care” features age appropriate examples of cyberbullying to help younger children better understand their actions.

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“In a school, our responsibility is to be preventative and make children aware of it. We’ve had this incredible opportunity to work with our RCMP liaison officer and create that awareness and work on the prevention,” Aspotogan Elementary principal Carol Hughes said.

Fighting cyber crime is a priority of the Nova Scotia RCMP. Although elementary school may seem too young to see cyberbullying, students and Const. Francis agree — it happens.

“One thing we’re seeing, that I’m seeing in the schools is that children are getting devices at a very early age, so any awareness and prevention that we can give them at any early age … is very important,” he said.

After a month of hard work, the class debuted their video in front of the entire school. The video was also uploaded to Youtube so anyone can use it as an educational tool.

READ MORE: Newfoundland police investigating after second ‘ugliest girls’ poll posted in a month

They hope to stop cyberbullying in its tracks.

“It was a lot of fun making the video and we had to like break it up into scenes,” Grade 5 Savannah Thorne said.

Hughes says the school owes a lot to Francis and the work he does to spread awareness about important issues that affect children on a daily basis, like cyberbullying.