Cayman is holding its first bullying awareness month this month.
Organized by the Family Resource Center, the aim of the awareness month is to educate the public on how to protect children from the effects of bullying, and to unite communities by holding several activities throughout the month.
A conference will be held at the George Town Public Library next week to focus on bullying, and this year’s Silent Witness March, which in previous years has concentrated on domestic violence, will also highlight bullying.
The Take a Stand Conference takes place on Oct. 16 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the George Town Public Library. The event is part of the library’s lecture series and the Family Resource Center’s family skills sessions.
The event will include interactive presentations, hands-on activities and information for children, teens, parents and employers. Also, staff from LIME will hold computer safety and cyber-bullying prevention sessions.
Refreshments will be available. The event is free, but registration is required. To register, call 949-0006 or email [email protected]
According to organizers, “Cyber bullying can range from sending mean messages or threats, spreading rumors, and posting unflattering pictures, to pretending to be someone else online.”
Public service announcements are also being broadcast on radio, on Z99, to help educate the public about bullying.
The Family Resource Center’s program coordinator, Miriam Foster, said, “Considering the advanced forms of technology and popular social sites now available, cyber bullying is a growing issue in the Cayman Islands and it is critical that young people understand the consequences of what they post online.”
On Oct. 18, designated Stand Up Day, the Business and Professional Women’s Club will hold a Silent Witness March at 5:30 p.m. from the Government Administration Building to the Legislative Assembly. Participants are encouraged to wear pink STOOD UP T-shirts, which are on sale for $10 for adults and $5 for children.
Organizations are welcome to walk with their club banners during the march.
Following the march, Ocean Marie Van Der Bol will share her personal story on bullying.
A collaborative art piece created on the day will also be on display at Heroes Square throughout the month.
Ms Foster urged parents to use the month as an opportunity to talk with their children about bullying and their online experiences.
Another element of the bullying awareness month is screenings of the movie Chrissy, which students throughout Grand Cayman are viewing at Regal Cinemas this week.
The film, made in Barbados, follows the title character, a primary school student, as she deals with bullying by children and adults, and how she overcomes her obstacles.