Be Happy Bullies Hate It!
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.
- Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can sometimes be 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
Being cyberbullied can cause a child to:
- use alcohol and drugs
- skip school
- experience in-person bullying
- be unwilling to attend school
- have lower self-esteem
Prevention and Awareness
Adults can prevent cyberbullying by:
- Knowing the sites your kids visit and their online activities
- Tell your kids that as a responsible parent you may review their online communications if you think there is a concern.
- Have a sense of what they do online, learn about the sites they use, try out the devices they use.
- Ask to "friend" or "follow" your kid on social media cites 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 cell phones or computers if they confide in you about a problem they are having.
Reporting a Cyberbully
- Don't respond to and do not forward cyberbullying messages.
- Keep evidence of cyberbullying. Keep dates, times, and descriptions of instances where cyberbullying has occurred. Save and print screenshots, emails, and text messages. Use evidence to report cyberbullying to web and cell phone service providers.
- Block the person who is cyberbullying.
Report to your School
- Cyberbullying can create a disruptive environment at school and is often related to in-person bullying. The school can use the information to help inform prevention and response strategies.
- In many states, schools are required to address cyberbullying in their anti-bullying policy. Some state laws also cover off-campus behavior that creates a hostile school environment.