Don't Be Mean Behind The Screen
Three differences between cyberbullying and bullying
- Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It can happen anytime.
- Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.
- Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.
Effects of Cyberbullying
Kids that are cyberbullyed are more likely to:
- Skip school
- Receive poor grades
- Use alcohol and drugs
- Have lower self-esteem
- Have more health problems
Prevention and Awareness
- Know the sites your kids visit and their online activities. Ask what they're doing, where they're going, and who they're doing it with.
- Ask for their passwords, but tell them you will only use them in case of emergency.
- Have a sense of what they do online and in texts. Learn about the sites they like. Try out the devices they use.
- Ask to "friend" or "follow" your kids on social media sites or ask another trusted adult to do so.
- Encourage your kids to tell you immediately if they, or someone they know, is being cyberbullied. Explain that you will not take away their computers or cell phones if they confide in you about a problem they are having.
- Be clear about what sites they can visit and what they are permitted to do when they're online. Show them how to be safe online.
- Tell kids to keep their passwords safe and not to share them with friends. Sharing passwords can compromise their control over their online identities and activities.
- Help them be smart about what they say and post. Tell them not to share anything that could hurt or embarrass themselves or others. Once something is posted, it is out of their control whether someone else will forward it.
Reporting a Cyberbully
- Don't respond and don't forward cyberbullying messages.
- Keep evidence of cyberbullying. Record the dates, times, and descriptions of instances of cyberbulling occured. Save and print screenshots, emails, and text messages. Use this evidence to report cyberbullying to cell phone service providers.
Report to your school
- The school can use information to help inform prevention and response strategies.
- address cyberbullying in the anti-bullying policy