Monday, May 19, 2008

The Stop Cyberbullying Conference June 2-3, 2008 in NY

Stop Cyberbullying –
An International Conference to Address Cyberbullying, Solutions and Industry Best Practices
June 2, 2008 (White Plains, NY) and June 3, 2008 (New York City)
To pre-register online, without charge, visit or Same day registrations range from $99 to $149. (Discounts for same day registration for students and educators)
About the conference, how it works and what we are planning:
At the world’s first conference dedicated entirely to the issue of cyberbullying, all stakeholders will learn everything they need to know about this digital epidemic and explore solutions. Hosted by the world’s largest and oldest cybersafety group together with Pace University and Westchester County, all aspects of cyberbullying, risk management in schools and best practices in the industry will be explored.
The entire program is broken into two very different days, each of which offers rich opportunities to address cyberbullying. Both are open to members of the general public, parents, students, educators and school administrators, mental health professionals, technology and Internet industry members, law enforcement, community groups, media representatives and governmental agencies.
On the first day a massive town meeting format will be used to bring together students, parents, teachers, librarians, school and technology administrators, governmental representatives, law enforcement, members of the media, Internet and digital technology industry members, mental health experts, community groups and safety advocates. They will work “UN expert meeting” style, to learn about cyberbullying and determine what each of these groups expects from government, education, the media and the industry.
During the plenary sessions hundreds of participants will learn and share with each other. They will interact with panels of experts and cyberbullying victims and their families. They will meet Parry Aftab’s award-winning Teenangels and Tweenangels to learn the extent of the problem. Then, breaking into three groups, based on demographics (teachers, parents and school administrators in one group, law enforcement, mental health experts, community organizations, medical experts and governmental representatives in another and industry and students in the third) the participants will work with facilitators and come up with their wishlist for media, government, schools and advocacy groups and the industry. What do they want these stakeholders to do to help?
The plenary will review each of the breakout wishlists and discuss each group’s overall expectations. In an active discussion the entire first day is devoted to framing the issues on cyberbullying and creating questions for the second day panels. Should media stop reporting about fight videos? Or does their coverage bring needed attention to the problem? What about government? Do we need more laws or just better enforcement? How can schools and mental health professionals help? And what is the industry’s role in creating safer technologies and adopting best practices? How important is that?
The second day brings the industry, government, media and other important stakeholders to the table to join the others. The facilitators for the first day will report the results to the second day plenary and four panels of experts and influencers will address the questions framed for them. They will also describe their current efforts to address the problem of cyberbullying. Beginning with students and victims and their families, the heart-wrenching stories will be shared, compelling action. Then panels of Internet industry leaders will address the questions posed for them by first day participants. They will share their perspective and the role they believe they should play in framing solutions.
This process is followed by a panel of governmental and policymaker leaders to address the wishlist from the town meeting and explain their efforts to address cyberbullying.
A luncheon program will be provided and boxed lunches will be available.
Then the conference participants will break into one of three workshops, each designed to attract a varied group of stakeholders. While the topics may change, we believe that these are the final three topics. Registrants are asked to select one upon registration. Since we will have limited space, they will be limited to the one workshop they select upon registration (unless the topics change).
Cyberbullying and the Law:
What are the laws governing cyberbullying? (How can you distinguish between rudeness and criminal harassment? What are the parents’ legal responsibilities? Do we need more laws? How should violent postings of videos be handled? Does age make a difference – cyberharassment vs. cyberbullying? How does free speech and hate speech fit into this?
Herding Cats:
Creating moderation policies, training moderators and handling cyberbullying from within the network. How do you protect kids from each other? When do you need to get law enforcement involved? How to you train moderators to be caring, without burning them out? How do you design safer networks? How do you nurture good behavior and discourage bad? How do you protect your site and users? How does cyberbullying work in gaming communities, on social networks and using mobile technologies? What resources are out there to help guide risk management and best practices for the industry? How do you identify best practices and earn the seal to show everyone your commitment to safety?
Teaching Kindness:
What educational programs are working, and which aren’t. What resources are available to provide professional development and train the trainers? Can you earn a cyberbullying certification? Collaborating with the cybersafety experts and finding the best materials to use. Using peer-counseling programs to manage cyberbullying and being innovative in approaches of risk management in schools. How do you write a cyberbullying policy and what is the reach of the school’s authority for off-premises misconduct? What do students think works? Deploying the Megan Pledge – promising to be part of the solution.
The last panel will be comprised of media and community groups to address the requests from the town meeting and to demonstrate what is out there to help spread awareness.
Awards for Excellence in Awareness will be given to a select group of outstanding non-profits and programs that are playing an important role in stopping cyberbullying.
In addition, “Cyberbullying Confessions” kiosks manned with video cameras will be placed at both conference venues to allow participants and experts to share their thinking, experiences and opinions. Select videos will be used in creating documentaries and to post at to help spread awareness. Exhibits will be available to certain sponsors to demonstrate their products, technologies and programs.
Students are welcome, accompanied by parents or teachers, and must be 10 or older to attend. The registration is free for pre-registered participants. Any participants seeking to join us, not having pre-registered, will be required to pay a $149 admission fee for both days, or $99 for either day. The programs may be webcast and will be recorded, along with audience participation and scan of the audience.
At the conference conclusion, WiredSafety will be creating a network of interested stakeholders to continue the work of framing the issues and forming solutions.
Our sponsors include Verizon, Microsoft, McAfee, AOL, Disney, Procter & Gamble, Girl Scouts of the USA, WiredTrust, Children’s Safety Research and Innovation Centre, and others. This conference is being delivered in conjunction and with the support of Pace University and The Westchester County Executive and Westchester County, NY.

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