Cyberbullying prevention program developed at Siena College, presented at Catholic Central HS

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Siena College collaborated with Catholic Central High School on Friday, by hosting the Upstander Program.

This is a new cyberbullying peer-to-peer prevention program, in which trained Siena College students help educate high school students, teachers and administrators on the widespread growth of cyberbullying.

The program provides workshops, tools and resources to combat it. It will also call attention to October being National Bullying Prevention Month.

The AT&T and Siena Upstander Program originate out of the Upstate Cyberbullying Census survey conducted in late 2016 by Siena College Research Institute, AT&T and the Tyler Clementi Foundation.

The study measured the commonness of cyberbullying among students, the awareness of this crisis among parents, and parents’ understanding of their children’s digital behaviors in New York.

Critical data from the study revealed 1 in 4 students in Upstate New York, including the Capital Region, have been a victim of cyberbullying.

The objective of the program is to create an Upstander culture within Catholic Central High School.

Upstander is a popular phrase used in the anti-bullying space and encourages students not to be a bystander when they witness cyberbullying but, rather, to speak up, notify someone or interrupt the negative behavior.

The Upstander Program pairs Siena college students who have been trained as cyberbullying ambassador facilitators with high school students for peer-to-peer conversations, role playing exercises and workshops.

The program at Catholic Central will consist of Siena students working with 57 selected freshmen student leaders for the first part of the school day in a workshop on how to be Upstander Ambassadors.

At the end of the day, the Siena facilitators and the newly trained high school Upstander Ambassadors will conduct an assembly program for the 7th and 8th grades to share strategies, build awareness of the danger of cyberbullying and promote the Upstander culture.

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