This week we welcomed Rachel Downie, founder of Stymie, who spoke with all students from Years 4-12 to launch the Stymie tool at our College. Rachel also hosted both parent and staff information sessions, providing invaluable information that may help us as adults assist our own child, or someone else’s child in the future.
Wellbeing is an important issue for children and adults alike. Did you know that one in four Australian students are bullied at one time or another? This can take the form of face-to-face and/or cyber bullying. At A.B. Paterson College we take the wellbeing of our students seriously and work with them on a regular basis through pastoral care programs to assist all of our students in understanding how to conduct themselves in a caring and respectful manner. We also know that bystanders can have the greatest impact in assisting others who need help and that they can have a significant positive influence on improving interactions with others.
With this in mind, the College will be implementing the online tool, called Stymie, which allows bystanders to send anonymous notifications about someone they believe is being bullied or harmed. This ability to remain anonymous gives bystanders the courage to overcome the fears and social pressures that prevent them from speaking up. It also relieves the feelings of helplessness for students who want to help their peers but don’t quite know how.
Rachel also shared with us the Family Technology Pact, which is a great tool for families to use as the basis from which to manage technology use within the home.
Stymie is an easy-to-use tool which will help all students foster caring and respectful relationships. Feedback from students, staff and parents who attended the sessions has been overwhelmingly positive. If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to watch this short vimeo for more information.
https://vimeo.com/81910487. For those of you who missed the parent session, please read Rachel’s article "Getting Your Techno Power Back" for lots of helpful advice.