One Senior Capstone group has made it their mission to address cyberbullying, a dangerous online phenomena that often goes unseen outside of school classrooms and hallways.
On March 6, Bridget Wolff, Susie Sipos and Mimi Uwase will visit Holy Angels School to inform 7th and 8th grade students about what cyberbullying is, who is affected by it, and how to stop it. The group chose this topic because of its recent frequency in the news, and this age group because they knew this was the age that many kids start going online and interacting with others, Wolff said.
“We have read a lot of sad stories about how more kids are getting bullied and becoming depressed,” she said. “Children were committing suicide due to bullying, so we thought that we should take on the issue and try to end it.”
Their presentation at Holy Angels School will consist of a PowerPoint presentation, interactive scenarios, and two videos about the dangers of cyberbullying.
“We want the kids to learn that words hurt more than people think that they do,” Sipos said. “And bullying doesn’t only happen at school, it can happen when you go home too so you really can’t escape from it.”
The audience will also receive a stick at the beginning of the presentation, but at the end they will put all the sticks together as a symbol of strength to encourage support among their classmates.
“We will hand them sticks at the very beginning and they’ll be wondering what it’s for,” Sipos said. “At the end we will explain that one stick, or one person can break alone, but when you put all the sticks together, or you have everyone standing up for each other, it’s much harder to break them.”
She explained that the symbolism of the sticks would further demonstrate the power of standing up for each other, especially if someone is being bullied online.
“We want the world to become a better place, and it can't be when people are picking on each other,” Wolff added. “We want to spread positivity.”
Nancy Dever, math teacher and mentor for this Senior Capstone project, said she predicts that the project will be beneficial for both the group and the audience.
“I want the students to feel comfortable presenting, but also feel like they’re doing something good," she said. “I hope it inspires the children to be interested in the subject and actively participating in the presentation, but to make sure they’re learning something too.”
Sipos reflected on how her involvement in this project has changed her perspective on social media and how she will interact with others online in the future.
“It definitely has taught me to be more careful with what I say, what I’m doing, and how I’m watching out for others,” she said.