SUMMERSIDE - Summerside city council has thrown its support behind drafting an anti-bullying bylaw and will be getting advice from one of the foremost authorities on cyber bullying.
By a unanimous vote, Monday night, council directed Chief Administrative Officer Robert Ashley to set the process in motion, meeting with the chief of police, with legal affairs along with reviewing other municipal anti-bullying bylaws and have a draft proposal ready for the November police services committee meeting.
The idea was raised by Councillor Tina Mundy, chairwoman of the city’s police services committee, last week after she received numerous calls from residents over the problem of bullying in schools and on social media.
Mundy said an anti-bullying bylaw would define bullying and outline specific protocols and processes that would address incidences of bullying. It would also include guidelines for enforcement and tangible, appropriate, and relevant consequences for the behavior. The bylaw would provide a helpful guideline for educators, parents, and students of what is and what is not acceptable behavior.
Mundy told city council that she has been in contact with the assistant to Parry Aftab who has been working on cyber bullying and cyber harassment cases since 1995.
“She is an Internet privacy and security lawyer as well as executive director of WiredSafety, a site where victims can receive one-on-one assistance when they have been bullied online,” she said. “She also runs StopCyberbullying.org, a goldmine of information and resources on cyber bullying.”
Mundy said Aftab serves on Facebook’s safety advisory board as well as MTV’s ‘A thin Line’, a cyber harassment awareness program’s advisory board. She ahs created an Internet safety program for the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. which teaches young people about cyber bullying and ways to address it.
“Her ‘Parents Guide to the Internet,’ released in 1997, was the first book in the world written for parents on Internet safety,” Mundy said. “Dr. Phil called her a ‘one-stop-shop’ on cyber safety.”
Aftab has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Dateline, 20/20, The View and 60 Minutes.
Mundy said on Nov. 9, Aftab will host P.E.I.’s first International Stop Cyberbullying Youth Summit.
Mundy has arranged for Aftab to meet with city council today.
“She will be here to meet with council in chambers to discuss her summit and provide valuable advice to the city on our anti-bullying bylaw,” Mundy said. “I think it’s essential that we as a council take action to address this. I know that there might be provincial and federal legislation that might have to be overcome but I think if we start at the municipal level, it’s a start and may put some pressure on the feds and the province to enact their own legislation.”