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Together we can stamp out hate crime

Hate crime
Mark Kingham Mark Kingham

“We are Great Britain because we are united by values such as democracy, free speech, mutual respect and opportunity for all. We are the sum of all our parts – a proud, diverse society. Hatred does not get a seat at the table, and we will do everything we can to stamp it out.”

–  Amber Rudd, Home Secretary

The Home Secretary is absolutely right – but what can we do about it?  On 30th October 2009, Ian Baynham died as a result of a hate crime attack. More than 10,000 people attended a candle-lit vigil in Trafalgar Square after the incident.  The vigil created such an emotional response, that Mark Healey decided to launch the idea of holding a National Hate Crime Awareness Week (NCHAW).  NCHAW, which takes place each October, is not only designed to heighten awareness of this invidious offence, but also offers the opportunity for anyone who knows or suspects hate crime incidents can report them to the police.

Sadly, hate crime is not just limited to adults, but affects our children too. To help teachers effectively deal with hate crime in schools,  the government has published a pack in collaboration with the Crown Prosecution Service, the National Union of Teachers and the Anthony Walker Foundation. This pack is designed to provide a resource that helps schools to promote understanding of what racist and religious hate crimes are.

Here are a few activities that you could be used in the classroom:

Section one

This contains an introductory warm up activity to teach pupils about racially and religiously motivated incidents. The activity is an icebreaking session in the form of a who’s who quiz, it is a photo quiz that looks at stereotyping.  Additionally, a DVD with a series of filmed scenarios is provided for discussion and classroom activities, which is divided into two sections. The first part of the PowerPoint presentation has seven embedded film adaptations that are based on real experiences. It is advisable for teachers to show it to the entire class and only then start the discussion.

During the discussion, you could ask the pupils what happened in the clip and why it is significant. For instance, one of the videos shows a girl covering her head with a hijab (part of a Muslim girl’s religious identity) and boys call her a ‘Paki’. Ask the class how they think the girl felt at the end of the clip. End the session by ensuring that the students have knowledge of Internet safety and reporting procedures.

Section two

The partnership incorporates another DVD for Section two. This plays interviews of young people talking about their experiences – what actually happened to them, and how and why they were discriminated against and bullied. After watching the video, ask your pupils to make notes and discuss their opinions and views on how they could make a difference. Finally, tell the pupils you will be showing them some video clips of people who have advice for them.

Section three

Although these activities are optional and additional, it is worth implementing at least a few of these, as they will deepen the pupils’ understanding of the impact of racist behaviour and help them prevent such incidents. Start by distributing a list of racist and religious hate incidents in school and read through it with the class. Ensure that your pupils understand the issues, give them time to read it and ask if they have any questions. Most importantly, explain the concept of hate crime to students and its legal consequences.

However, you won’t necessarily witness hate crimes only on school premises. Internet hate crime is also on the rise.  The Internet has brought us many positive things, so it is important that we present a balanced view of the Internet to our children. If you would like to learn more about an e-Safety solution that provides students with a secure on-line learning environment and help to combat hate crimes in schools, contact us today.

Facebook fundamentals – privacy settings you can share with your students

Facebook
Greg Johnson Greg Johnson

Classroom instruction has undergone a major shift, with technology replacing many traditional means of teaching and interaction. Today, teachers increasingly use social media as a platform for communicating with their pupils and as a hub for discussion with both parents and students. Facebook pages have become a great way to post updates for students and also keep parents informed about classroom activities.

On the flip side, however, social media can create a dilemma for educators when it comes to separating their professional and personal profiles online. Pupils may be intrigued by their teachers’ lives and take a look at their private photos or check out their network of friends So, is it possible for teachers to maintain privacy in the digital sphere?

If you are an educator who is wondering how you can use social media in the classroom without compromising your privacy, here are a few tips that can help your personal profile remain discrete from your professional one.

The very first step – check your privacy settings

Click on the lock symbol on the Facebook toolbar and it will take you through a three-part privacy check to determine who can view and access your posts and profile. Always ensure that this is set to “friends”. If a little globe icon appears when you are about to share an update, it means that the post will be public and that you need to re-set your privacy settings.

See how your profile appears to the public

If you want to check how your profile appears when viewed by the general public or by a particular friend, Facebook has the “View as” tool that appears as three dots at the top of your profile page, beside the “view Activity log” button. This will show you exactly what is visible to others when they access your personal page and you can then take necessary steps to filter that information.

Set up “Pages” or “Groups”

You can set up a page or create a group on Facebook that your students can access and use to communicate with each other and share updates. These pages are independent of your personal profile and you do not need to add the members of your group as friends. You can also customise the privacy settings of this group to disclose only what you choose to share with your professional connections.

Protect your friend network

As almost the whole world is on Facebook, you will be invariably connected to half of that world. If a student does manage to find you, chances are that they may stumble upon the contacts on your friend list and access profiles of several other teachers and common acquaintances. You can prevent this by clicking on the Friends tab on your profile and then the pencil icon, appearing at the top right-hand corner.

Make your past photos inaccessible

You may prefer to keep your old photos from your earliest posts on Facebook private.

You can apply the “Limit old posts” option by going to Settings and then to Privacy. To keep it most secure, you could select “friends only” from the list.

Clean up the apps

When we play games on Facebook, we inadvertently give the app the permission to access our profiles and post to our timelines. It is best to be in complete control of what is being posted on your behalf. Therefore, it is worthwhile doing a regular clean-up of your apps by deleting them from the Settings tab.

Make your profile inaccessible to search engines

The easiest way to find information on a topic or on a person is to look them up on Google. One way to prevent your students from being able to find you online is to ensure that your profile does not appear in the search results by Google or other search engines. In order to do this, go to your Privacy Settings and edit the search engine option.

Watch out for the tags

Friends may tag you in posts as a reminder of the good times you have shared, but these posts might be more informal than the image you would prefer to project to your students. As you have no control over the audience who sees the post, it is best to remove the tag and request your friends delete the posts altogether. You can also customise the options in the Timeline and Tagging section in Settings, to limit the tags that show up on your timeline.

How to boost the morale of a cyberbullying victim

Cyberbullying
Mark Kingham Mark Kingham

With the world becoming increasingly digital and the Internet a necessity, everybody, including children, should be given an equal opportunity to embrace this technology and develop as an integral part of our new digital world.

However, as parents and teachers it is understandable that you could have concerns about cyberbullying.  To keep your children or pupils safe online, teach them how to face cyberbullying with confidence. Start by implementing a culture of respect and safety right from the beginning and reassure them that cyberbullying is preventable.

The Cyber Scene project led by Masterclass is an interesting example of how to deal with cyberbullying and build innovative approaches to tackle such issues. The project was conducted in partnership with the anti-bullying charity Kidscape and a team of professional theatre makers. It revealed that working with young people in this medium helps explore and share their experiences of cyberbullying, as well as the effects it has on them and their peers.

Raising the curtain on cyberbullying

Have you considered using drama as a way to explore this topic? The Masterclass project creatively depicts how theatre-based workshops can help boost the morale of a victim. Let’s delve a bit deeper into the project.

Why theatre?

Through theatre workshops, the team at Masterclass develop victims’ stories into a play that is performed by them on stage. They also get the chance to work with a publisher to publish the play once it has been written. In order to raise public awareness about the very real and serious issues facing young people online, the team documents the project in the form of a recording, video, blog and of course, a performance.

“The Masterclass theatre project funded by the Royal British Legion was a turning point in my recovery. While the medical teams put my body back together, taking part in the play ‘The Two Worlds of Charlie F’ gave me back my self-esteem and confidence when it was at its lowest ebb,” said Cassidy Little, from Bravo 22 Company.

How can teachers deal with cyberbullying?

Read our article from the archives to get a thorough understanding of what cyberbullying is.  Here are some ways to help your pupils fight cyberbullying with confidence.

Understand

Cyberbullying can happen anywhere and therefore it is advisable for teachers to be aware of the forms that cyberbullying can take and its characteristics. Also, teachers should be aware of their school’s policy on tackling bullying, and how to prevent and respond to such incidents.

Prevent

To prevent cyberbullying in schools, teachers need to be proactive in discussing the issue with pupils. This will help students feel more comfortable in coming forward and sharing their experiences. In addition, awareness of cyberbullying must be raised across the whole school. It is not enough for just the teachers to be involved, the entire school community must join hands to promote mutual respect and trust, which can help combat cyberbullying.

Respond

Whenever a student encounters a situation that makes them uncomfortable online, it is important that they feel empowered to seek help from their teachers. Both teachers and pupils need to know how to raise their concerns. Students should also be advised never to respond to upsetting images or messages. Instead, they should be encouraged to save those messages for evidence.

If your school has been looking out for an e-Safety solution software that will help you detect cyberbullying incidents, then contact us today.

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