Cyberbullying: What Schools Can Do
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Although most incidents of cyberbullying originate outside of school hours, schools are nonetheless feeling its effects. Often school staff members have to deal with student distress, anger, and conflict that accompany cyberbullying situations. Moreover, schools are facing an increasing number of cyberbullying problems that take place in school. Whether the cyberbullying happens in school or at home, it’s a problem that schools must confront.
The following are some steps that schools can take to prevent cyberbullying. (Parents are strongly encouraged to work with their children’s schools to combat this pervasive bullying threat together.)
- Create a cyberbullying policy. The school bullying policy should be expanded to include cyberbullying.
- Survey students and school staff about cyberbullying. This may provide school officials with useful information about the nature and frequency of cyberbullying. It is important that parents are informed of this survey and have the right to withdraw their child from the survey.
- Discuss cyberbullying with school staff. Schools might offer workshops to school staff on this topic.
Educate students about cyberbullying. Make sure the discussion touches on the following points:
- The pain of being cyberbullied.
- Appropriate and inappropriate use of technology.
- The rules regarding the use of technology in school and the school’s disciplinary approach to cyberbullying.
- The need for students to seek help from an adult if they are being cyberbullied.
- The need for students who witness cyberbullying to stop the incident, support the victim or inform an adult.
- How Internet and cell phone communications leave “electronic footprints” that may allow cyberbullies to be identified.
More on what schools can do to combat cyberbullying—>