Cyberbullying:<br />How will you prevent it in your classroom?<br />
What is cyberbullying?<br /><ul><li>Cyberbullyinghas many definitions but can be summed up as any inappropriate use of technology that is intended to harass, humiliate, stalk, threaten, terrorize, or slander others.
It is not uncommon for cyberbullying to be prevalent in students ages 8-15 and </li></ul>beyond.<br />
Vehicles for Cyberbullying<br /><ul><li>Cell phones
Chat tools and more…</li></li></ul><li>Statistics<br /><ul><li>Approx. 160,000 children miss school because they fear bullying
One in three teens (ages 12-17) have been victims of cyberbullying
One in six pre-teens (ages 6-11) have been victims of cyberbullying
Children are just as likely to receive threatening messages at school as they are at home
The impact on the victims of bullying often include truancy, depression, poor academic performance, and sometimes suicide</li></li></ul><li>Is it against the law?<br />That depends…<br /> The biggest hurdle that prosecutors face in cyberbullying cases is the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.<br />There have been numerous court cases concerning cyberbullying, however each is individual and rulings remain just as unique and difficult to predict.<br />
Is it against the law?<br />That depends…<br />Cases in which cyberbullies have been convicted have shown that they have abused this constitutional right to an extent that they be held accountable for their actions.<br />
Law<br /><ul><li>Fifteen states (including Illinois) have legislation requiring districts to create policies about cyberbullying.
On this website, each state receives a letter grade based on the occurrences of cyberbullying cases and how they are handled. www.bullypolice.org
Also in Illinois schools are required to provide a minimum of two hours of Internet safety instruction annually to their K-12 students.</li></li></ul><li>Cyberbullying in the Classroom<br /><ul><li>There are numerous recent examples of court cases concerning cyberbullying incidences in school
Cyberbullying can take place at school, however, instances of bullying that </li></ul> occurred at home can impact a <br /> student’s learning in the classroom<br /> as well.<br />It is very difficult if not impossible for students to escape instances of cyberbullying.<br />
Challenges for Teachers<br /><ul><li>What constitutes an offense of cyberbullying?
Is bullying that takes place at home able to be disciplined within the school?
Can teachers determine the scope of a student’s right to freedom of speech?</li></li></ul><li>Challenges for Teachers<br />None of these questions can be answered definitively. <br /> Each case must be viewed individually, however, to shed some light on one important point, schools are allowed (in many cases) to take disciplinary action on incidences that occur in a student’s home as soon as a learning environment or student’s learning experience is compromised as a result.<br />
Creating a policy<br /> Be proactive, not reactive.<br />Having a classroom technology policy can prevent problems from happening before they occur. It can also provide teachers with a set of fair and equal set of consequences for policy violations.<br />
Creating a policy<br /> Be proactive, not reactive.<br />In order to create an effective policy, teachers and administrators must employ wording that is broad enough to cover as many instances as possible, while they must also be specific enough so that a document can uphold its integrity in a court of law if necessary.<br />
Creating a cyberbullying/technology policy for your classroom<br />A good policy should:<br /><ul><li>be informative (defining cyberbullying and other terms that may be unfamiliar) and directed towards both parent(s)/guardian(s) and student
show compliance and understanding by both parent(s)/guardian(s) and student (preferably by means of a signature) and returned to the teacher to be filed
clearly state the goals the teacher </li></ul> intends to achieve and activities <br /> planned using said technology<br />
Creating a policy (Continued…)<br />A good policy should:<br /><ul><li>state the teacher (and school) expectations of usage of said technology
clearly outline consequences for violation of the policy on several levels
some policies include different consequences for first, second, and third-time offenses
some policies include a clause that allows </li></ul> for discretion on the part of administration <br /> as to the seriousness of the offense and the <br /> resulting punishment<br />
Creating a policy (Continued…)<br />A good policy should:<br /><ul><li>refer parent(s)/guardian(s) to sources of additional information if they wish to access it
provide the teacher and administrator’s contact information
be thoroughly checked for correct spelling, grammar, and structure
be approved by an administrator before being sent home with students (Some schools </li></ul> require this, others do not, but it’s <br /> still a good idea!)<br />
Prevent behavior: Start early<br /><ul><li>Educate students about the dangers of cyberbullying at an early age (as soon as they begin using the computer)
Treat cyberbullying as we would the issues of lying, cheating, or stealing when students are young.
If they become familiar with these values, they might be less likely to participate in these destructive behaviors.</li></li></ul><li>Prevent behavior: Be proactive<br /><ul><li>Be proactive in presenting classroom expectations, outlining acceptable usages, and introducing policy early.
Remind students of the policies in place frequently throughout the duration of a project or school year.
Post your policy in the classroom or computer lab so students have no excuse for being unfamiliar with it.</li></li></ul><li>Prevent behavior: Actively monitor<br /><ul><li>Actively monitor students at all times when using technology.
Monitor computers and Internet history as well as student behavior in the classroom.</li></ul>Students know when they are being monitored closely, and chances of problems occurring in your classroom will be less if you are a constant, active presence.<br />
Complete the Activity:<br />Locate the Cyberbullying Activity on WesternOnline. Read it carefully and complete it by the posted due date. Worth 40 pts.<br />Don’t forget to review the rubric before starting!<br />
References<br />Bully Police U.S.A. (2009). Retrieved from website: www.bullypolice.org<br />Meyers, J. J. (2009). Censoring cyber speech on campus??? Unpublished manuscript. Presented September 29, 2009 at Western Illinois University.<br />Meyers, J. J., & Carper, G. T. (2009). Cyberbullying: The legal challenge for educators. West’s Educational Law Reporter.<br />Meyers, J. J., Carper, G. T., & Hemphill, L. S. (2009). Cyber Bullies Come to Campus: Are Administrators and Faculty Ready? <br />Roskamp, T. J. (2009). Cyberbullying in Illinois public schools. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Western Illinois University.<br />
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