While attempting to locate sources for a diverse class full of many different majors, I came across Trisha Prabhu’s TedTalk. I found it to be informative, yes. More importantly, I felt that it had an emotional draw. I was invested from the beginning as I listened to her tell of children, yes children, who had killed themselves as a result of being victims of cyber-bullying.
I know that I’m teaching a “Technology in the Inclusive Classroom” course. But, I couldn’t help but think that the same things could easily happen in a face-to-face bullying situation. Trisha created a tool, the Rethink your Words tool, that allows parents and educators the opportunity to put one more safeguard in place for their children. This tool forces users to think about their message, if it appears to be harmful. Trisha found that in most instances, this moment to think was enough to change teens’ minds about posting.
I don’t think that all tools need to be digital. In fact, Christian’s Buddy Bench is another tool created by a student that allows for children to feel more accepted and the environment to be more inclusive. In my opinion, the most important thing is that we have conversations. That we encourage our children to think of others and to remember that we’re all in this together.