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Bullying

Addressing Cyberbullying Effectively

The National Crime Prevention Council states that 43% of teens have been victims of cyberbullying in the past year. Incidents of cyberbullying are increasing, as technology has become a major part of teenagers’ lives today. Cyberbullying is defined as using the Internet, cell phones, or other technology to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person. Texting and social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, are often use to cyberbully others. Unlike other forms of bullying, cyberbullying is carried out from a distance, can be spread to hundreds of people at one time, and can be sent anonymously. Cyberbullying makes victims the target of bullying anywhere, not just at school.

So in a world where technology is becoming a major part of your child’s life, what can you do to effectively address cyberbullying? Talk to your child about the definition of cyberbullying and ways to respond. You can also discuss internet safety concerning what to post and what not to post. Here are some tips to share with your children:

Effective Responses:

  • Stay calm before taking action
  • Don’t retaliate
  • Don’t feed the behavior by reacting too soon
  • Decide to respond publically and/or privately
  • Be respectful, constructive, and clear when responding
  • Keep the evidence and file a complaint with the social network
  • Do not forward hurtful messages about others
  • Disapprove of hurtful statements, pictures, and videos of others you see online

Ways to Safely Use the Internet:

  • Don’t share personal information with people on the Internet such as your name, phone number, address, social security number, description of your appearance, social activities, etc.
  • Always make sure you log out of your account
  • Be careful when talking to people online. Never discuss personal information with people you do not know.
  • If someone threatens you online, keep the evidence, tell an adult immediately, and report the situation.

References:

BeSAFE Curriculum