Should cyberbullying be criminalized to protect kids? TVO's Web TV program Your Voice tackles a hot-button issue in third-season opener, Tuesday September 2, 2008, at 9 pm ET LIVE at - NEW TIME!

    -   Featuring Faye Mishna, U of T social worker and bullying expert, and
        Robert Frenette, co-founder of

    -   Parents can interact directly with guest experts by phone and e-mail,
        and with other parents via online chat

    -   Moves to 9 pm ET, Tuesdays LIVE at with on-air repeat
        broadcast Sundays at 6 pm on TVO

    TORONTO, Aug. 26 /CNW/ - In our wired world, bullying has gone from the
playground to the computer. According to a February 2008 study by University
of Toronto social worker Faye Mishna, one in five kids at GTA schools had been
cyberbullied during a three-month period. And 29% of students indicated they
had cyberbullied others. Should cyberbullying be made a criminal offence? And
is that the best way to protect our kids? Your Voice, the only live, online
interactive discussion series for parents, explores these pressing questions
in the third-season opener, Tuesday September 2, 2008, at 9 pm ET LIVE at (An on-air repeat broadcast of the program airs
Sunday September 7 at 6 pm on TVO.)
    "Anyone who has kids knows they are masters of all things 'cyber' - it's
their main form of communication with their peers," says Cheryl Jackson, host
and co-producer of Your Voice. "What parents don't often know is what
cyberbullying is, and when or if it's happening. TVO helps inform parents
about this, and explores the meaning and repercussions of criminalizing online
bullying for themselves and their children," she says.
    In July 2008, the Canadian Teachers' Federation called on the federal
government to add cyberbullying to the Criminal Code. Some argue that current
legislation doesn't adequately protect online victims, while others say that
criminalizing cyberbullying threatens freedom of speech. Your Voice will look
at this growing debate as well as the role education plays. "We want to give
parents tools to prevent their children from being bullies, and to help them
help their kids if they become victims," says Jackson.

    Guests include:

    -   Faye Mishna, associate professor and associate dean of research at
        the University of Toronto's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.
        Mishna recently completed an extensive survey on cyberbullying in 30
        schools across the GTA, talking to more than 2,000 students.

    -   Robert Frenette, co-founder of, the first and only
        youth-based cyberbullying website for support. A New Brunswick
        native, Frenette, now 19, was a victim of bullying for most of his
        school life.

    -   Shaheen Shariff, associate professor at McGill University's Faculty
        of Education and author of Cyber-Bullying: Issues and Solutions for
        the School, the Classroom and the Home.

    -   Eric Roher, partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Roher advises
        school boards, independent schools, colleges and universities on a
        range of education law issues, including student discipline, human
        rights, freedom of information and special education.

    Parents can join the live discussion by sending their questions directly
to guests online at, or by phone at 1.888.891.1195. They can
also interact with other parents in online discussion forums.

    Later in September, watch for these topics on Your Voice:

    September 9
    "Learning Loss": Do kids' brains go stale over the summer break without
    structured learning?

    September 16
    "Over-scheduled Kids": Are kids too busy for their own good, or is it a

    September 23:
    "Winners and Losers": Does competition in childhood help or hurt kids?

    September 30:
    "Fourth Grade Slump": Why do some kids start to experience learning
    problems in Grade 4? And how do we help them?

    And starting January 2009, look for a second weekly edition of Your Voice
with a focus on health issues.

    Your Voice at is the only live, online interactive program
for parents who want to help their kids succeed in school and in life. It
combines the power of the Internet with the immediacy of live interaction to
provide expert advice in real time for parents and caregivers.

    About TVO

    TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted
source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires, and
stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO's vision is to empower people to be
engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Angela Garde, (416) 484-2600
ext. 2305,

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