Chief Executive Officer at the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Mr. Guy Lester Malone has reiterated the commission’s commitment to creating a positive digital environment that has zero tolerance for any form of harassment or abuse.
Mr. Malone said it is important for everyone to stand against cyberbullying and help promote a culture of kindness, empathy and inclusivity online as the Territory prepares to observe World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. The day’s activities will be observed under the theme, “Don’t Be Mean Behind the Screen”.
“At the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, we take cyberbullying seriously and believe that everyone, inclusive of our youths, employees, customers and stakeholders, has the right to a safe and respectful online experience,” Mr. Malone said.
As part of the activities in observance of the day, the TRC organised a one-day symposium for approximately 300 students across the Territory on Friday, May 19, at the Eileene Parsons Auditorium on the Hamilton Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) Campus at Paraquita Bay, Tortola from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Keynote Speaker for the symposium was Associate Director of the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York Dr. Stephanie Fredrick. Dr. Fedrick is as an Assistant Professor of the School of Psychology, where her research investigates the role of families, peers, and schools in preventing and intervening with bullying, with a focus on cyberbullying and youth media use. Dr. Fredrick is a licenced psychologist and a nationally certified school psychologist.
Organiser of this year’s symposium, Ms. Johanna Rhymer mentioned that telecommunications in particular the internet, provide incredible opportunities to solving problems and enhancing our lives.
She said while there are instances where telecommunications create solutions, there are also some challenges that are more and more increasingly evident especially amongst our children.
Ms. Rhymer added, “Although cyber bullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies, Cyber bullying and face-to-face bullying or physical altercations can often happen alongside each other and as such, we thought it best to tackle this ongoing local and international dilemma by bringing our keynote speaker Dr. Stephanie Fredrick to the VI.”
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) has been observed each year since May 17, 1969, to mark and celebrate the founding of the International Telecommunications Union and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865.
The TRC remains committed to providing a safe, secure and accessible digital environment for all citizens; and believes that by working together, the power of telecommunications and information technologies can be harnessed to create a safer and more inclusive digital world.