Digital Citizenship Lesson

Cyberbullying: Crossing the Line

Digital Literacy & Citizenship. (2015). 1st ed. [ebook] Common Sense Media. Available at: [Accessed 13 Jan. 2015].
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"People talk big when there's miles between you, but they might think more about what they say if they're right in front of you and can see your reaction. They could see how much it hurts someone."

Stacey, age 15


  • analyze online bullying behaviors that “cross the line.”
  • learn about the various ways that students can be cyberbullied, including flaming, deceiving, and harassing.
  • adopt the point of view of teens who have been cyberbullied, and offer solutions.


harassing: bombarding someone with messages over digital media, or repeated contact when it is least expected

deceiving: using fake names, posing as someone else, or creating a fake profile about someone else

flaming: saying mean things, usually in ALL CAPS, and often in a public forum with the intention to humiliate

hate speech: a verbal attack targeting someone because of their race, gender, religion, ability, or sexual orientation”

Excerpt From: Common Sense Media. “Digital Literacy & Citizenship Student Workbook: Grades 6-8.” Common Sense Media, 2014. iBooks.

Watch the video - STACEY'S STORY

Stacey's Story - When Rumors Escalate

STACEY'S STORY - Video Survey

CASE STUDY - Attacked From All Sides

“Eric gets a lot of pressure from his parents to do well in school. Other kids in school tease him because he works so hard but still gets poor test scores. He gets instant messages and text messages during the day and at night about his poor grades. The word “loser” is in most of them, and the language becomes stronger every day. Today he received a text from a number he did not recognize, with a photo of his body with a turkey’s head. A thought bubble above the picture reads: “Why am I so STUPID? What a *!*#&** I am.” Eric thinks Alexis, the most popular girl in the eighth grade, is behind the message. ”

Excerpt From: Common Sense Media. “Digital Literacy & Citizenship Student Workbook: Grades 6-8.” Common Sense Media, 2014. iBooks.


  1. What forms of cyberbullying did the students use on Eric?
  2. Do you think Eric should tell his parents about the cyberbullying?
  3. If Alexis was the bully, what could school personnel, such as the principal, do or say to Alexis to make her realize that her behavior is wrong?
  4. What qualities do you think a “trusted adult” should have? In what ways can a trusted adult actually be effective?

Teachers - When you discuss bullet point #4, have a student write the answers on your board, take a picture and email to