Cyberbullying A Best Practice guide for teachers

What is Cyberbullying?
“willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices”- Hinduja, 2014
Through technology a bully can expand their reach and extent of harm

Why cyberbullying needs to be addressed in the classroom

  • According to Baldry, Farrington, & Sorrentino (2016), students are at risk to cyberbullying as soon as they begin to use digital tools.
  • There are estimates between 10-40% of youth have experience cyberbullying. This large range is due to evolving definitions of cyberbullying.
  • Cyberbullying affects school attendance and academics
  • Victims feel depressed, sad, angry, and frustrated
  • Victims are afraid or embarrassed to go to school
  • We need to prepare ourselves and our students to know how to deal with the cyberbullying issue

Cyberbullying can often slip through the cracks

All stakeholders need to be involved: kids, parents, educators, counselors, youth leaders and the community at large.

Know the Signs

  • Unexpectedly stops using their device
  • Appears nervous or jumpy when using devices
  • Appears uneasy about being at school or outside
  • Appears angry, depressed, or frustrated after texting, chatting, using social media, or gaming
  • Becomes abnormally withdrawn
  • Avoids discussions about their activities online
  • Low self-esteem
  • Academic problems
ISTE-S standards support anti-cyberbullying campaigns

ISTE-S 5 Digital Citizenship

  1. Advocate & practice safe, legal, & responsible use of information & technology
  2. Exhibit a positive attitude towards using technology that supports collaboration, learning, & productivity
  3. Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning
  4. Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship

Benefits of Cyberbullying Prevention Plans

Keep kids in school and more productive

Creates a safe environment for everyone

Decreases drop out rates & drug and alcohol use in students and young adults

Clear plan in which everyone understands bullying behavior will not be tolerated

Support for victims, aggressors, and bystanders

Cyberbullying affects everyone.

How do students get involved in the prevention of cyberbullying?

Students should know cyberbullying is unacceptable and will result in discipline

Students are encouraged to develop a relationship with an adult they can talk to

Students can create anti-bullying posters, create PSA videos, Pro-kindness messages

Older students can give brief presentations to younger students about the importance of using technology in ethically-sound ways

Create a UpStander Alliance at school

Cyberbullying Prevention

Formally assess the extent of the problem at the school (survey, counselor talks)

Teach students ALL forms of bullying are unacceptable

Educate the school community about responsible Internet use

Have clear rules about technology use- Post signs & posters in classrooms/computer lab

Peer mentoring- to promote postive online interactions

Designate a "Cyberbullying Expert" @ the school

Cultivate a positive school climate

Developing a Positive School Climate

Promote Awareness with ongoing education and discussion on Bullying. Students should know they play a part if there school is a safe place or not. If students see or are aware of bullying they should so something about it.

Cultivate communication between students and staff. Staff should intentionally work to build an atmosphere of trust.

Learn student names, this is simple yet very powerful. Show kids you care about them.

Work with Stakeholders, get together with parents and others in the community to help support students using technology wisely.

Anonymous Reporting including drop boxes, online forms, or text messages.

Instill Hope, teachers should work to cultivate a strong sense of hope and positivity across school campus.

Build positive social norming. Promote the positive things students are doing. Highlight and commend acts of kindness.

Enlist Students to help empower the movement.

Stay current. Educators should continue to learn about new technology developments, and from of online misuse.

References

Baldry, A. C., Farrington, D. P., & Sorrentino, A. (2016). Cyberbullying in youth: A pattern of disruptive behaviour. Psicología Educativa, 22(La ciberconducta y la psicologia educativa: retos y riesgos [Cyberbehavior and educational psychology: challenges and risks]), 19-26. doi:10.1016/j.pse.2016.02.001

Digital Citizenship. (n.d.). Retrieved April 03, 2017, from https://www.commonsense.org/education/digital-citizenship

Hinduja, S. (2014). Bullying beyond the schoolyard: preventing and responding to cyberbullying. Corwin Press Inc.

Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J.W. (2015). Developing a Positive School Climate: Top Ten Tips to Prevent Bullying and Cyberbullying. Cyberbullying Research Center. Retrieved, from http://cyberbullying.org/School-Climate-Top-Ten-Tips-To-Prevent-Cyberbullying.pdf

Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. W. (2014). Cyberbullying identification, prevention, and response. Cyberbullying Research Center (www.cyberbullying.us).

2016 ISTE standards for students. (2016). Arlington, VA: International Society for Technology in Education.

Patchin, J. p., & Hinduja, S. h. (2012). School-based efforts to prevent cyberbullying. Prevention Researcher, 19(3), 7-9.

Wallace, K. (2016, December 14). Here's how to tackle cyberbullying. Retrieved April 02, 2017, from http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/08/health/cyberbullying-advice-melania-trump/index.html

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Kelly Petross
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