EGUSD Digital Citizenship

Resources for 21st Century Teaching and Learning

EGUSD Digital Citizenship

Archives for Empathy

PBS: We’ll Meet Again – Reiko Nagumo Reunited With Her Upstander

Thanks to an email from Julie Thomas, Library Archivist for California State University, Sacramento, we made sure to be home last Tuesday by 8:00 p.m.

Julie’s subject line was a grabber for us: Reiko Nagumo “We’ll Meet Again.” Her message was short:

“Here is the link to the We’ll Meet Again website and Reiko’s story is highlighted further down the page. I encourage you to tune in at 8:00 (EST and PST) and 7:00 (CST) on your local PBS station. It’s an amazing story about an amazing woman.”

We'll Meet Again TV Show Promo Graphic

We’ll Meet Again is a new PBS series produced and hosted by veteran journalist Ann Curry. The six-part series documents reunions between people whose lives were suddenly disrupted by historic events such as war. Episode 1 features Reiko Nagumo and her childhood friend Mary Frances, who, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, became and upstander for Reiko.

As part of our EGUSD Time of Remembrance oral histories project, we had the privilege of interviewing Reiko 12 years ago. Her interview is one we often share with elementary students. We especially want them to know about Reiko’s friendship with Mary Frances (clip 2, 04:52). It’s a beautiful example of what can happen when a single person takes on the “upstander role” by crossing the line (or playground) to extend a simple act of kindness to someone in need.

The high quality of our interviews is the result of our continued partnership with the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium (SECC). We are incredibly grateful to the talent and project dedication of SECC videographer Doug Niva.

Several years ago, following a 3-day trip to the Manzanar internment camp, Doug suggested that we make a short documentary to introduce people to our growing collection of oral history interviews. I’m American Too – A Story from Behind the Fences (16 minutes) includes snippets of Reiko’s interview, along with other internees, whose lives were also overnight and forever changed by Executive Order 9066.

Today, our Time of Remembrance project also includes a Vietnam War section, in which we’ve attempted to capture a little known story: the Secret War in Laos. For a quick overview, watch our 4-minute introduction:

Based on the impact of Reiko’s interview, and in every interview since hers, we always end with the same question: Can you think back to a time in your life (facing exclusion and forced removal, surviving in internment and refugee camps, starting the first day of school in a new country, etc.) when there was someone who stood up for you, making whatever challenges you were dealing with a little easier to cope with?

We are firm believers in the power of a single upstander to make a profound difference in someone’s life – or even change the course of history – and that “it is small things that allow bigger things to happen” (Sam Edleman, Holocaust historian).

The last few months have been painful in our district and city due to a number of hateful, racist incidents, which have been widely publicized through local and national media. To ignite classroom conversations on the exponential negative impact of bystanders, be it face-to-face or online, we invite students across the district, nation, and globe to contribute to our Upstanders, Not Bystanders VoiceThread. We started this VoiceThread a few years ago, and have had an amazing range of contributors, from kindergarten students to humanitarian Carl Wilkens. And, yes, Reiko Nagumo has already shared on our Voice Thread.

Note: A VoiceThread is like a visual podcast. Once you register with VoiceThread for a free account (a process that takes only a couple of minutes), you will be able to post a comment via voice, text, or webcam. Your comment will go “live” as soon as we approve it. If you are in a school district, like ours, that is a GSuite (formerly known as Google Apps for Education) district, you already have an account, as VoiceThread is now integrated into your district Google account. Head to your Google Apps launcher (waffle) and scroll down to the More section to find the VoiceThread icon.

We look forward to hearing your students’ upstander stories – and yours too! Besides the VoiceThread, you can also leave a comment on this post. We’d love to showcase any projects or programs you are implementing in your schools to promote tolerance, respect, empathy, inclusion and global citizenship. If you need lessons or resources to begin conversations on the role of the bystander vs. upstander, Common Sense Education is a great starting point.

In the Classroom: Lessons/Resources
Be Internet Awesome – Itʼs Cool to Be Kind: How can I be an upstander? (Primary Grades) – Google | iKeepSafe curriculum – scroll to page 39.
Be an Upstander (Primary Grades) – Video by the NED show, gives four tips that help kids go from bystander to upstander. 
Hero in the Hallway (Elementary) – Video created by a team of high school and college students to empower younger students to take a stand against bullying and exclusion.
Cyberbullying: Be Upstanding (Grades 6-8) – Common Sense Education (must create or have account to download the lesson PDF)
Cyberbullying: Crossing the Line (Grades 6-8) – Common Sense Education (must create or have account to download the lesson PDF)
Breaking Down Hate Speech (Grades 9-12) – Common Sense Education (must create or have account to download the lesson PDF)
Who is an Upstander (Grades 8-12) – Video created by Facing History and Ourselves

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” ~ Albert Einstein

 

Defining Bullying and Cyberbullying

“Isn’t ‘cyberbullying’ just another form of ‘bullying’? Why label it as a separate issue?”

We have been asked this question a number of times. And, yes, we agree that cyberbullying is a form of bullying. Ideally, there would not be a need to add “cyber” in front of “bullying.” However, based on regional, community and school events we have attended in the past few years regarding “cyberbullying,” we believe it is important to continue to make the distinction. While anonymity is difficult in a physical setting, typically online, students falsely assume they can remain anonymous and therefore will not be held accountable for anything they post/upload. For this reason something that perhaps would have never been an issue face-to-face, becomes one. Images or video are often altered using editing tools and then uploaded to YouTube, spreading the reach far beyond school hours and school grounds. 

With the ever-increasing availability of new social media apps and options, our students need explicit instruction on the safe, responsible, and ethical use of technology, both within and beyond the school day. In the short time EGUSD has been a Google Apps for Education/G Suite district, the teaching of digital citizenship has been steadily shifting from a stand-alone topic, often taught in a computer lab or during advisory period, to an integral part of the core curriculum. Across grade levels and subject areas, as students connect for online discussions and collaborative projects, teachers make use of teachable moments to address, for instance, a mean-spirited or mocking comment towards another student’s contribution – and in the process, possibly prevent an online incident from escalating into a face-to-face confrontation. More often than not, when a student is the target of cyberbullying (via texting, Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube, etc.), he or she is also bullied before, during, and/or after the school day. 

Below are some cyberbullying tactics (from Internet Safety 101: Cyberbullying) commonly used on social media.

Cyberbullying Tactics 

  • Cyberstalking: Posting or sending unwanted or intimidating messages, which may include threats
  • Cyberthreats: Remarks on the Internet threatening or implying violent behavior, displaying suicidal tendencies
  • Exclusion: Deliberately excluding someone from an online group
  • Flaming: Online fights where scornful and offensive messages are posted on websites, forums, or blogs
  • Gossip: Posting or sending cruel gossip to damage a person’s reputation and relationships with friends, family, and acquaintances
  • Harassment: Repeatedly posting or sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages
  • Impersonation: Breaking into someone’s e-mail or other online account and sending messages that will cause embarrassment or damage to the person’s reputation and affect his or her relationship with others
  • Outing and Trickery: Tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information, which is then shared online

Whether a bullying incident happens in the cafeteria or online, the damage to a student’s well-being and the negative impact on the school culture can have far-reaching consequences. We appreciate that many of our favorite go-to resources on bullying, such as StopBullying.gov, also recognize both the differences and the connecting threads between bullying and cyberbullying.

We can not stress enough the importance and benefits of students, staff, and families coming together to confront all forms of bullying. In addition to student-led initiatives, school-wide campaigns, and teacher-guided discussions specifically targeting bullying/cyberbullying, we also value the power of story to change hearts, minds and behaviors. A movie, a book, or a YouTube video that introduces empathy and compassion can serve as an antidote to bullying and can often resonate with students far beyond the impact of a structured lesson. Stories from a school cafeteria or soccer field demonstrate in very real ways the difference a small group can make when they choose to use their school sites and/or social media to promote positivity and kindness.

 

Yes, cyberbullying is different from bullying, yet the two are interrelated, often inseparable, and continue to be equally serious issues. We are constantly on the lookout for resources to empower students to recognize and to speak out against both.

We welcome any resources you might recommend adding to our website. Please let us know by leaving a comment.

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