Taking bullying to new platform

Justin Crann
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The last of the Moose Jaw Police Service's fleet of Ford Crown Victorias sits in the parking lot outside police headquarters on Wednesday. The cruiser will be replaced by a Dodge Charger within a few weeks.

The Moose Jaw Police Service and the Prairie South School Division (PSSD) are co-operating in order to reduce cyberbullying incidents among the school division’s students.

“We know that it’s a practice that happens with adolescents in particular,” said Dustin Swanson, principal of Peacock Collegiate Institute. “The biggest part of our focus is on teaching appropriate use and how to establish and maintain healthy relationships.”

Cyberbullying has come into sharp focus in recent years as the trend of victimizing individuals on social media and through instant messaging and email has picked up steam.

According to a 2011 Statistics Canada release, seven per cent of surveyed Internet users over 18 reported having been cyberbullied and nine per cent of those individuals living in a house with a child reported the child had been cyberbullied.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that traditional bullying has fallen by the wayside, according to Constable Landon Giraudier with the MJPS.

“I wouldn’t say that cyberbullying is replacing in-person bullying,” he said.

“I think that bullying is just evolving, like anything with technology.”

Organizations: Moose Jaw Police Service, Prairie South School Division, Peacock Collegiate Institute Statistics Canada

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