Teacher tackles cyberbullies

From left, are Elkanah High School teacher, Darren Neethling, winning pupils, Robyn Lombaard and Jessica Lombaard, and Head of Primary Schools at Elkanah House, Arthur Preston.

An Elkanah House teacher has inspired pupils to make videos about cyberbullying and the negative impact it has on hurt it causes children.

Darren Neethling teaches digital literacy at the high school in Sunningdale and said he was inspired by 13-year-old Luke Culhane from Ireland who started the #CreateNoHate campaign after he fell victim to cyberbullying.
Mr Neethling saw the video around June and said he was amazed at the idea of illustrating how harmful some words can be may not physically harm “but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t cause any harm”.

“Words may cause just as much or even more damage as physical harm could,” said Mr Neethling, who was himself a victim of cyberbullying when he was a child.

He was further inspired to support the campaign as he had also been a victim of cyberbullying throughout his childhood. Using their iPads, pupils Learners were tasked to create a video using their iPad’s in-aid of supporting the campaign. They needed to tell their storytold their stories using multiple camera angles and various scenes which had to be paired with a backtrack.

“Initially it was a challenge for the learners, but being part of the digital generation, it’s something they picked up very quickly by just playing around with the concept and the technology,” said Mr Neethling.

The video project was intended to create awareness and give pupils a voice, while giving those who do bully “a wake-up call”.

The learners used iMovie to import, edit and add music to their final video. Some of them used a combination of apps to create this project. The learners edited and created the videos themselves, all I had to do was inspire them to create something that would maybe be a wake up call to those who do bully. This video was intended for awareness and also to give the learners an opportunity to have a voice and make a difference”.’
Without the pupils knowing, Mr Neethling contacted Luke’s father, Dermot, and asked him to share his pupils’ contributions to Luke’s campaign.

Luke made a response video in which he mentioned a few pupils’ names and thanked everyone for their contribution to the campaign.

Mr Neethling said Luke’s response had stunned his pupils because they did not believe they could make a difference, have a voice or take a stand against something that might be currently happening to them or their friends.
Recently ThinkAhead and iSchool Press Team launched a competition challenging schools to create videos related to cyber bullying and

He also entered his pupils’ work in a ThinkAhead and iSchool Press Team competition challenging schools to create videos about cyberbullying,. Sisters and sisters, Robyn and Jessica Lombard, beat off about 4 000 entries to win.

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