Cyber-bullying: How Schools Can Help with Prevention

July 13, 2015 by Crescerance

Cyber-bullying is a huge concern for schools but typically happens off school grounds making it complicated for school leaders to govern. Research shows that cyber-bullying primarily happens through social media on mobile devices and most parents don’t know that these activities are taking place.  School leaders usually don’t know until the bullying makes its way into the school building as a distraction and safety concern for students.  Before we get into how schools can help prevent cyber-bullying, let’s take a look at some of the latest statistics to get a better idea of how it is affecting our children.


How many kids are experiencing cyber-bullying?

7 in 10 young people are victims of cyber-bullying.

25% percent of teenagers have experienced repeated bullying via their cell phone or on the internet.

33% of young people cyber-bullied were issued online threats.

37% of young people are experiencing cyber-bullying on a highly frequent basis.


How many kids witness cyber-bullying? How do they react?

55% of teens have witnessed bullying via social media.

95% of teens witnessing bullying via social media ignore it.

What do parents know?

Over 50% of young people say they never confide in their parents when they are cyber-bullied.

Only 10% of parents are aware that their child is or has been a victim of cyber-bullying.

65% of children often go online without any parental supervision.


Children’s Access to Technology and the Internet
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More than 80% of teens use cell phones making it a common medium for cyber-bullying.

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26% of young people spend four hours or more online every day.

53% of children go online in their own room.


Who is affected the most?

Cyber-bullying is most prevalent in middle school, from grades 6 to 8.

Girls are 2 times more likely to be cyber-bully targets than boys.


How are kids reacting to cyber-bullying?

65% of teens respond to the bully.

14% avoid school.

4.5% get into a physical altercation with the bully.


Why cyber-bullying is so common?

81% of youth agree that bullying online is easier to get away with than in person.


Where is Cyber-bullying Taking place the most?

54% of young people using Facebook reported that they have experienced cyber-bullying on the social network.

Facebook, Ask.FM and Twitter found to be the most likely sources of cyber-bullying, being the highest in traffic of all social networks.


How is it affecting our kids?

20% of kid’s cyber-bullied think about suicide, and 1 in 10 attempts it.

Cyber-bullying victims are 1.9 times more likely to attempt suicide than non-victims.

 

What Can School’s do?

Evaluate Bullying in Your School: Perform regular assessments to determine how often bullying occurs at your school, where it happens the most, how students and adults intervene and whether your prevention is working.

Engage Students and Parents: It’s essential that everyone in the community works together to take a stand against bullying. Launch an awareness campaign to make the objectives known to key stakeholders. Create a school safety task force to plan, implement, and evaluate your school’s bullying prevention program. If you already have a school safety task force or committee have them carry out the initiative against cyber-bullying.

Establish Policies and Rules: Establish policies and rules to create a climate in which bullying is not acceptable. Implement a bully reporting system and include rules for bullying and cyber-bullying in your code of conduct and school-wide rules. Some schools have technology and internet policies that includes rules against cyber-bullying. Other schools have reporting systems like an anonymous tip-line, which is a good channel for students to report bullying and any other safety concerns.

Create a Safe Environment: Continuously reinforce positive social interactions and inclusiveness.  Focus on creating a school culture of acceptance, tolerance and respect. Use assemblies, parent meetings, staff meetings, and student and employee handbooks along with school communication channels to establish a positive climate at your school.

Educate Students, Staff and Parents: Integrate bullying prevention material into the curriculum and school activities. Train staff on the school’s rules and policies. Make sure all school employees are equipped with skills to intervene consistently and appropriately. Parent education workshops can help parents note signs of cyber-bullying victims and cyber bullies so that they can be aware of appropriate responses to avoid over or under-reacting. Give parents clear instructions on when and how to report cyber-bullying to the school.

Taking the time to educate your entire school community on cyber ethics while focusing on creating a positive culture and safe environment at your school can help prevent both cyber and traditional bullying. When cyber-bullying occurs be sure to take immediate action in addressing and resolving the report to avoid repeated incidents. For more information on cyber-bullying visit http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying.

How is your school or district preventing cyber-bullying? Feel free to share!