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Jun 28, 2016

Experts Say Cyber-Bullying is a Real Concern in Belize

Cleveland Thomas

Cyber bullying, the release of nudes and sex tapes on social media platforms have become a concern in Belize, exposing the lack of personal securities.  But according to the professionals, the intervention starts at home. Parents must be vigilant with their children on the use of electronic devices. Cleveland Thomas and Doctor Kay Xuereb of the International Telecommunications Union facilitated the awareness workshop. Thomas says that while technology and the internet are beneficial to the economic and social development of a country, there are dark sides to technology.

 

Cleveland Thomas, CARICOM Rep., International Telecommunications Union

“There is an exchange of inappropriate material with students; there is inappropriate content and there is a need perhaps to have a discussion, build awareness, and find ways in which you can deal with some of that. It is not unique to Belize. A number of countries in the Caribbean and the rest of the world have been challenged with what do we do with our students knowing that there is a problem. Nude exchange of photos, having contact with people you don’t know, spending too much time on the internet…what do you do? We at the International Telecommunications Union, we have partnered with a lot of international organizations with the likes of Yahoo and Google, governments, private sector and develop certain guidelines or policies to help administration, the private sector, guardians, parents, teachers in trying to come to some kind f solution with the problem.”

 

Duane Moody

“So what can be done to address it? Firewall the system so that the youth cannot gain access to these things? Take away their electronic devices? What can be done to address this issue?”

 

Cleveland Thomas

“I am not an advocator to stop or as they would say throw the child out with the dirty water. My preference instead would be doing what we are doing now; have a discussion. Do we have a problem? Unfortunately we do not have information as to the extent of the problem. What we have is the isolated incidents of a school here and a school there. But we don’t have empirical evidence to the extent of which the problem is in either district, with different student at different levels…whether girls or boys, whether it is teachers. What exactly is the problem? So having a discussion, I think that’s a step in the right direction.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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