Unfortunately in our rush to respond to the horrific examples of online extortion, sexual exploitation and criminal harassment that a few have endured, we have raised awareness without balance.
As the summer ends and another school year begins, parents and educators prepare the supplies to ensure a successful year for our youth. As each year passes, the classrooms and homework demands change and so must this preparation. Many of today’s students depend on computers or electronic tablets for doing homework and socializing with classmates. Because of this, we at SOLOS encourage educators and parents to discuss online safety as an important element of preparing kids to go back to school. SOLOS basic messages are: * Everything you post online is permanent * Everything you post online is public * Use critical thinking skills about information and people online * Protect your private information and be careful with your personal information * Be responsible for what you post online * Don’t take, or let anyone take sexual images of you and don’t talk about sex online * Take a stand against online harassment and tell someone if you are being victimized. Educating youth is a valuable way to promote a healthy school culture. Thinking critically about how technology should be used can help to ensure the Internet remains a safe, valuable tool for your school community and we would love to come and help your school community be safer online. Please go to our website and check out our new presentation formats - classroom seminars, assemblies, parent and pro-d day workshops. We look forward to hearing from you, Onwards and upwards, The SOLOS Team
Giving is Receiving is a Vancouver, BC-based blog dedicated to shining a light on the numerous non-profit and charitable organizations in the Metro Vancouver area. Recognizing the spirit of generosity in most of these organizations, the author behind the blog—retired lawyer Patricia Sandberg—aims to make use of her newly-found time by acknowledging the often-unheralded work people do to make our communities better. Paying it forward, in other words. With this in mind, she recently discussed the Safe Online Education Associates. In a fairly lengthy overview of SOLOS's work, Ms Sandberg begins with a quote from our website: “Predators online are actively recruiting young people for exploitation in the street sex trade as well as manipulating young children into producing digital images of themselves which are then used as stimulation for pedophilic fantasies. All British Columbian youth are at-risk due to the newness of the medium, the lack of parental knowledge about online risks and lack of training to professionals about this emerging form of exploitation”. She then goes on to link to her own recent articles about Canadians who wrestle with child exploitation both home and abroad. The rest is her summary of a conversation she had with Merlyn Horton. Among other things, they discuss the unique challenges the internet poses for First Nations youth, and the insidiousness of newer recruiting methods in which youth in very small communities can be more easily targeted and groomed for the sex trade than ever before. Isolation and social deprivation, as well as the relative lack of visibility compared to the street trade makes these young people especially vulnerable. They also cover sexting, with the following pragmatic advice highlighted: Don’t talk about sex online. Don’t send racy photos. [...]
The Society for Children and Youth in BC has launched a new public awareness campaign to promote child and youth rights in everyday life in BC. This PSA was written and recorded by BC youth who experienced discrimination first hand. Listen for it on radio stations throughout the province. Youth and non-discrimination "One of the more negative effects of prejudice and discrimination that children and youth face as a daily part of their lives is the power of stereotypes. Stereotypes are in simple terms, an over-generalization, a “snap shot” perspective frozen in time and place that superimposes a perception of someone solely based on their group membership or outwardly attributes. Stereotypes denies our individual character and uniqueness. It ties us to a perception that prejudges us before we can make our true selves known to others." (SCYBC) Please take the time to listen to this new PSA in support of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and show your support for the SCYBC.
Shelter Net BC (SNBC) proudly presents, Conference 2012 on September 26 & 27, in beautiful Kelowna. This year there are many exciting workshops and event options to choose from. Whether you serve on the frontlines or in a leadership capacity, Conference 2012 has something for you. All sessions and workshops are sector-specific. SOLOS is excited to be a part of this conference and Merlyn will be giving a workshop on Sept 27th at [MISSING INFO] The Internet and At-Risk Populations Award winning presenter and facilitator, Merlyn Horton, uses multi-media and compelling case studies to examine the impact of technology on at-risk populations. Suggestions for Internet safety, raising awareness for staff and clients, as well as online resources specific to at-risk populations will be provided to participants. You won’t want to miss this outstanding presentation. Learn more.
Merlyn just returned from a birthday celebration of the FCSSBC at their AGM held in Penticton last week. As always, it was an informative and enjoyable two days of listening and learning and connecting. Since 1982, FCSSBC has been a recognized voice in BC for community services to children, youth, families and adults with vulnerabilities. They represent over 130 diverse, caring and committed member agencies who serve the needs of children and youth, women, people with disabilities and families. Their mission is to promote excellence in community services and they do it by advocating, networking, skill-building and public education.
Hi everyone. I thought you might like to have a listen to an interview that I did this morning. I really appreciate Murray Langdon's attention to the issue and his informed questions.
Check out the ONYX page for youth and information about sexual exploitation. They're working hard to get resources out there. Give them a link if you can. A Safer Space.
Safe Online Education Associates will hold their ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING February 5th 2009 6:30pm to 8:00pm Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce 34033 Lougheed Highway, Mission B.C. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Heather Mercer, Executive Office Manager at (604) 826-6818
The BCCPA Awards Luncheon was held on October 4th during their Annual Conference.Â I was honoured to receive an Individual Crime Prevention & Community Safety Award for Individual, along with several of my colleagues and friends. Congratulations to Sandy Cooke for his Lifetime Achievement Award. Merlyn Horton, Executive Director, SOLOS and Wally Opal, Attorney General of B.C.