Oct 23, 2013 | Ken Jamieson | 3457 views
Mis-Use of Social Media
There have been several relatively recent cases of "cyber bullying"
in Canada and elsewhere which have been widely reported by the Media because of
the horrific consequences of these activities. The minor hockey
community is in many ways a microcosm of society- especially in this
country- so it should come as no surprise that some of the more negative
aspects of the widespread use of social media by our youth are finding their
way into our sport.
As a member of Hockey Canada and the Ontario Minor Hockey Association, the GMHA has a Code of Conduct for players, volunteers and parents governing among other things abuse, harassment and bullying in all forms including the use of the Internet. We are learning, however, that some of our players fail to grasp that certain social media interactions are forms of abuse, harassment or bullying, and therefore subject to severe penalties imposed by governing bodies, or in some instances, legal authorities. Most players understand that "trash- talking" an opponent on the ice is subject to penalties including suspensions. However, those same players may fail to understand that trash-talking is no more acceptable on Facebook/Twitter/etc., than it is on the ice -especially if it involves threats, racial slurs, profanity, or any comments intended to demean, bully, or incite another individual. We ask that coaches and parents make a special effort to ensure that players do understand that there is no place in the Game- on or off the ice- for this behavior and the consequences could be severe. Players, coaches and parents should also understand that they have an obligation to report any such activity to the GMHA or the OMHA. Such information will be dealt with in confidence, but reports will be investigated. We urge coaches and parents to be vigilant and assist us in reducing the threat posed by this type of activity.