Over 300 York Region students from four schools participated in a cyberbullying awareness rally at Aurora High School on September 29, 2014. The event was aimed at helping people understand the devastating effects of cyberbullying.
J. Philip Parappally, Director of Education, York Region District School Board; Patricia Preston, Director of Education, York Catholic District School Board; and Superintendent Carolyn Bishop, York Regional Police spoke about cyberbullying and the various ways individuals and school communities can work together to reduce harmful behaviours online and in social media.
Throughout the event, participants were asked the question, “can we change the culture on cyberbullying?” and students responded loud and clear, “Yes, we will!” Students also used the hashtag #yeswewill, during the event to help bring attention to cyberbullying, in the online forums where it exists. A screen projecting tweets and submissions with the #yeswewill hashtag was also on display during the rally.
Natasha Iaboni and Joe McLeod, Student Trustees from the York Catholic Board, along with Harii Mahesh, Student Trustee from the York public board, acted as MCs for the event, and even tweeted a group ‘selfie’ during the rally.
Participating schools included St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School, St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic High School, Aurora High School, and Aurora Senior Public School.