Tackling Cyberbullying in SchoolsOct 28, 2022
Cyberbullying is on the rise. How can schools tackle this issue that students face alone?
Cyberbullying affects up to 72% of children but often goes undetected because it occurs online — outside the sphere of educators and trusted adults. It’s a conundrum that school leaders and teachers struggle with daily. Unfortunately, only 8% of public school teachers utilize staff resources when dealing with cyberbullying incidents; this sheds light on the lack of anti-cyberbullying resources and knowledge available to educators.
Most schools have existing anti-bullying policies but can do more to address and prevent cyberbullying. Here are some additional steps school leaders can take to train their staff and protect their students from cyberbullying.
Anti-Cyberbullying Training for Educators
Anti-cyberbullying training equips teachers with skills that help them recognize early signs of online bullying, including risk factors and behaviors that the cyberbully or victim may display. It also helps educators intervene in cyberbullying situations and protect their students peacefully. In addition to gaining a deeper understanding of cyberbullying and its impact, educators also learn effective response plans.
Organize Cyberbullying Prevention Workshops for Parents
Cyberbullying prevention workshops are essential to educate parents about possible signs of bullying and give them a plan of action if their children are ever at risk online. These workshops open conversations about how to use social media safely and provide strategies to engage kids in discussions about social media and the digital world. Parents also learn the importance of being alert and creating an environment where their child feels safe to tell them their concerns, especially regarding social media. Conducting after-school assemblies or sessions dedicated to parents is a great way to jump-start this initiative!
Empower Student Bystanders
Anti-bullying assemblies often focus on the bully or victim, but bystanders can play an immense role in putting a stop to bullying. However, studies show that as the number of bystanders increases, there’s a decreasing chance that people will intervene in bullying situations. Students need to be taught how to intervene safely and respectfully — to become upstanders instead of bystanders. Not only will this help your students become more alert on social media but it will also allow them to take quick action when they spot spiteful behaviors.
Provide Social and Emotional Learning Opportunities
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is critical to supporting students’ emotional maturity and resilience, empowering them to develop skills like conflict resolution, self-regulation, and impulse control. Schools that provide SEL can help students understand their peers' emotions and cultivate empathy, which can help prevent cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is a constant battle, and the best way a school can support its students is by creating safer educational settings and effective reporting procedures. Integrating cyberbullying prevention methods at all stages, including classrooms, curriculums, and policies is essential. #ICANHELP has workshops and training programs for teachers, school leaders, and students for cyberbullying prevention and digital citizenship — get in touch to learn how to bring them to your school!
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