Securus

e-Safety and user monitoring solutions for education and the enterprise

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.

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.

The role of education in preventing online radicalisation

online-radicalisation
Greg Johnson Greg Johnson

Education plays an important role in developing a student’s personality. Children spend much of their waking hours in school and teachers have a responsibility in helping their students reach their full potential. Ensuring the social and emotional development of children is a critical aspect of a teacher’s role. Therefore, they have a profound effect on the lives of their students.

Some believe that educating children contributes to solving many of the contemporary world’s problems. Be it poverty or gender discrimination, a good education can combat all this and more.

With advances in technology, teachers and students alike are making use of the Internet to supplement lectures, get access to online courses and extra materials and resources. The Web is now akin to a worldwide virtual school. According to an article published in The Guardian, children are referring to the Internet more than ever before, not just for educational purposes but for recreational purposes too.

With students as young as four using the Internet, it is in their best interests to safeguard them against its more unscrupulous elements. Online radicalisation is one such potential hazard. This can happen when an individual accesses extremist views and starts to believe and support them. This may also result in a change in behaviour and beliefs. Our earlier article highlighted why radicalisation is a serious issue which needs immediate attention.

What can schools and educators do, according to the law?

The UK Government published the Prevent Duty Guidance in 2015, which listed the duties of schools in tackling online radicalisation. It states:

“[Schools] are subject to the duty to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Being drawn into terrorism includes not just violent extremism but also non-violent extremism, which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise views which terrorists exploit.”

This does not mean students are barred from discussing sensitive topics like terrorist ideologies and extremist ideas. But it does mean that schools are advised to be mindful of presenting a balanced approach to these issues.

Risk assessment

The guidance expects schools and educators to assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism. There should be a general understanding of the risks that can affect children as well as identifying children who may be at risk of being radicalised. Teachers must be aware of what to do to support such children.

Staff training

If Head Teachers and others in leadership positions ensure that staff understand radicalisation, they will have the capabilities to deal with it. They will be better equipped to challenge extremist ideas and be more aware of where and how to handle students who need further help.

IT policies

Establishing appropriate levels of filtering can go a long way in ensuring the safety of students from terrorist and extremist material.

Working in partnership

Schools need to co-operate with local Prevent staff, police, civil society organisations and other appropriate agencies. Engaging with parents is also considered important as they may be in a key position to spot the signs of radicalisation.

Educators can also encourage an environment in which students can debate controversial issues. Teaching students to critically appraise online sources of information will help them build resilience to online radicalisation. For in-depth guidance, you can always refer to our article on building online resilience.

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