Bullying in school is hardly a new problem, but in today’s “connected” world, it does not look like it once did. The following are some essential tips to prevent cyber bully actions:
1 Build awareness through anti-bully days and assemblies where cyber bullying is the focus.
2 Teach students and adults to LOOK at what is happening around them. Increase staff and student understanding of online privacy and ethical behavior, digital footprints, and not-so-anonymous virtual lives.
3 Support behavioral changes by assigning a high priority to curriculum integration and information resources. Consider offering a video production class where students create anti-bullying videos.
4 Practice does make perfect. Role-play the different players in cyber bullying. Brainstorm online scenarios that support positive online behavior and reporting online issues.
5 Use rewards and consequences that have direct impacts. Involve parents and the home environment.
6 The largest challenge to combating bullying is not recognizing that it is happening in the first place. Consider adding an anonymous reporting service.
Janet M. Irvine is a former educator and SchoolReach CyberBully Hotline Contributor.