Cyberbullying is a huge problem for students. Here are some strategies to stop it.
About a third of middle and high school students have been victims of cyberbullying at some point in their life, according to a new report from the Cyberbullying Research Center. Cyberbullying can be even more devastating to students than traditional bullying because its impact is multiplied exponentially across the Web.
Although cyberbullying is a huge problem for students, the report mentions a number of strategies that school leaders can use to combat it. Here are some tips on how to stop cyberbullying among students:
- Create a school culture where students feel comfortable talking with adults about the problem—and confident that you’ll take meaningful steps to resolve the situation. Show through your words and your actions that you take the problem seriously, and get everyone involved—including students, parents, teachers, school counselors, youth leaders, and law enforcement agencies—in addressing it.
- Educate your school community about the responsible use of digital devices. Students must learn that all forms of bullying are wrong, and those who harass or threaten others will be disciplined. This message should be taught in digital citizenship workshops or assemblies and then continuously reinforced in classes using technology and in signage around your buildings.
- Review your school or district policies to make sure they address cyberbullying explicitly. “Cyberbullying incidents that occur at school, or that originates off campus but ultimately result in a substantial disruption of the learning environment, are well within a school’s legal authority to intervene,” the report says. “Students should fully understand that cyberbullying will result in discipline, and our recent research shows that this … has a meaningful deterrent effect.”
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About the author: The former editor of eSchool News, Dennis Pierce has 20 years of experience writing about education and technology.