I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop on cyberbullying yesterday hosted by Character Plus with Dr. Sameer Hinduja of the Cyberbullying Research Center. (side note I find it sad that my computer does not recognize cyberbullying as a word, it wants to make it two words or hyphenate it).
Dr. Hinduja appeared on one of our local news morning shows yesterday here is that link. I really enjoyed the workshop and definitely walked away with some new knowledge, but I think my favorite thing was the campaign started by local area high school students.
Earlier in Oct students from 8 St. Louis area high schools met and planned a campaign to fight cyberbullying, their plan so simple but spreading like wildfire already. Take a clothespin write a positive message on one side, on the other #startswithus. Pin a friend or classmate, or total stranger, that person takes a picture of the clip posts it to social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, and passes the clip on to someone else.
The St. Louis Rams are co sponsers of this initiative with Chris Long as the spokesperson. He appeared on Fox 2 News just last week about the campaign, and then again yesterday with students from area high schools. The Rams have a page set up on their website with Instagram posts of the campaign.
Mehlville High School students created a video they posted on youtube all about the Clothespin Challenge. Students from Fox High School spoke to the participants of the workshop yesterday. Students from Lafayette High School in my own district: Rockwood were also part of the start of the campaign and I know it has spread to at least two of the other high schools in the district.
This idea has already been picked up by schools in Kentucky. Now let’s see how far we can spread it. I’ve got my markers and clothespins ready to go.