Cyberbullying Requires Vigilance Online and Offline
The issue of cyberbullying has received some national attention with the First Lady initiating her campaign against online victimization. In her message delivered at the United Nations, Melania Trump stated, “We must teach each child the values of empathy and communication that are at the core of kindness, mindfulness, integrity, and leadership, which can only be taught by example.”
Responding to bullying in schools has become increasingly important as every state in the nation has passed some form of bullying prevention legislation addressing the role of schools. California has been a leader in cyberbullying legislation and has provided school administrators with a broad range of tools to combat it. However, only half of the other states have addressed the issue of cyberbullying. Schools are especially challenged to determine their role when the bullying is away from school and involves social media posts.
Research from Common Sense Media has identified these important behavioral trends:
- 24% of teens are online “almost constantly.”
- 25% of kids experience cyberbullying.
- 46% of 10-23 year olds would change their online behavior if their parents were watching.
On October 11, Keenan hosted a webinar presented by Dr. Scott Poland, a nationally-recognized expert on youth suicide prevention. This webinar was designed to help school personnel and parents unite their efforts to reduce cyberbullying and clarify how to respond when it does occur to support the victim, provide consequences for the bully, and to increase the likelihood that online bystanders will take action to support the victim. If you didn’t have the opportunity to join the webinar live, or if you would like to view it again, the recording is available below:
Parents, teachers, administrators and students all have a role in stopping cyberbullying and supporting the victims of online abuse. Educational and behavioral training programs help encourage bystanders to intervene, whether they witness bullying online or offline. The solution to cyberbullying takes a village.