Trustee presents Notice of Motion on teen cybersafety for Board approval


January 5, 2014


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Bluewater District School Board Trustee, Kevin Larson, recently put forward a notice of motion for Board approval regarding 'cyberbullying/cybersafety'.

Kevin Larson

Bill C-13, 'Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act', was recently introduced by the government that criminalizes the non-consensual distrubution of intimate images and also enacts new suspicion-based surveillance powers.

Larson made the motion that the Bluewater Board:

  • express it support for the Bill and petition that it be accepted in to law

  • support that any proposed surveillance-related legislation include safeguards to protect the privacy rights of Canadians as guaranteed under the Charter of Rights & Freedoms

  • support the Federal Minister of Justice to implement the recommendation proposed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario to create an independent, arm’s length surveillance and review agency, with a mandate to supervise and oversee state access to highly sensitive personal information associated with digital communications

  • support that a copy of this resolution be provided to the Federal Minister of Justice and to a representative of each of the other parties represented in the House of Commons.

In his oral presentation at a recent Board meeting, Larson presented letters of support from Saugeen Shores Chief of Police and Stephen McCammon, Legal Counsel for the Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

McCammon said in his submission that "The Commissioner hopes the Board {Bluewater} will pass Larson's motion and agree to forward it to all other school boards in Ontario."

According to Saugeen Shores Police Chief, Dan Rivett, "The bottom line for Bill C13 and Larson's motion is the protection of children and others from the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.  Technology has come a long way but, with it, comes some peril.

Rivett says that,  "There have been several incidents over the past two years where intimate images are sent by young girls to their boyfriends who, in turn, share them with friends resulting in a devastating impact on those in the images."

"I would like to thank Chief Rivett (Saugeen Shores Police) and his staff," said Larson. "Chief Rivett has helped me understand the seriousness of the incident.  I have also heard great things about Saugeen Shores' Officer Coles' work within our schools, some of which has been covered in the local press.  Great job!  Great job, also, by all of our staff [schoolboard] to work with these issues. Much appreciated." 

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Idea for parents with teenaged students:  Ask them about "Snapchat."  It allows an image or video to be sent by phone, the file being able to be set to run for up to 10 seconds, then vanishes.  Pretty safe, eh?  Except during the time the image is being viewed, as happened in the Laval event, a person can do a "screen capture" or take a photo of the image with another camera, and then the image can now be circulated broadly, including on internet.  (Info on Snapchat at Wikipedia is pretty good.  Snapchat has been used at one of our schools by student(s).) 

The Laval Incident from a CTV news report out of Montreal:

[CTV Montreal Published Thursday, November 14, 2013 9:00AM EST Last Updated Friday, November 15, 2013 7:33PM EST Read more: Click Here

Ten teenage boys from Laval have pleaded not guilty to a series of child pornography-related charges stemming from the sharing of indecent photos of teenage girls on a popular app known as SnapChat.

Laval police, who rounded up the boys Thursday morning, said that the youths, all aged 13 to 15 years old, used persuasion or intimidation to get the girls to send nude photos of themselves.

Eight of the 10 boys face two charges related to the possession and distribution of child pornography. The other two face the same charges plus a third charge relating to the production of child pornography.

Officers have identified seven girls who were either coerced into having their picture taken, or who were tricked into thinking the picture would be deleted immediately.

“Some of the girls thought that they were okay by sending these pictures by using an app called SnapChat because the picture will appear for only a few seconds… and then it disappears,” said Nathalie Laurin of Laval police.

“There is the possibility of taking a screencap [that’s a screen capture, a photo] and then distributing the picture. We saw that it was shared outside also so we don’t know to what extent those pictures are going around cyber space”

For the schoolboard meeting webcast  Click Here

Larson's motion was passed unanimously by the Bluewater Board.

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