What can Parents and Teachers do? How can Parents and Teachers positively get involved with the issue of Cyber-bullying. By: Joanna Nieves
What can Parents Do? The latest research shows that one in three children are directly involved in bullying as a perpetrator, victim, or both. And many of those who are not directly involved witness others being bullied on a regular basis. No child is immune— kids of every race, gender, grade and socio- economic sector are impacted. But it doesn’t have to be this way. As parents we have the power to help reduce bullying.
Ten Actions ALL Parents Can Take to Help Eliminate Bullying Talk with and listen to Establish household your kids—everyday. rules about bullying. Spend time at school Teach your child how and recess. to be a good witness Be a good example of or positive bystander. kindness and Teach your child leadership. about cyber-bullying. Learn the signs. Spread the word that Create healthy anti- bullying should not be bullying habits early. a normal part of childhood Help your child’s school address bullying effectively.
Parents If you think your child is being bullied, its time to take action…now. Bullying is not something that just goes away on its own, it is not something that children can just “work out” without mediation, and it is not something kids will just naturally outgrow. If you know (or think) that your child is being bullied, your participation is critical to a successful outcome.
Ten Actions Parents Can Take If Their Child Has Been Bullied Make it safe for your child to Don’t go it alone. talk to you. If cyber-bullying is an Teach your child to say issue, teach your child to bring it “Stop!” or go find an adult. to the attention of an Talk with your child’s adult, rather than responding to principal and classroom the message. teacher about the situation. Help your child become more Arrange opportunities for resilient to bullying. your child to socialize with Provide daily and ongoing friends outside of school to support to your child by help build and maintain a listening and maintaining strong support system. ongoing lines of Encourage your child to stick communication. with a friend (or find someone Follow Up. that can act as a buddy) at recess, lunch, in the hallways, on the bus, or walking home.
Parents Learning that your child is involved in bullying behavior can be a tough blow to any parent. Before you get angry or upset, take a breath. Social skills develop gradually over the school years, and for many children, this includes learning and experimenting with power and relationships. It’s important that you work steadily and compassionately to get your child back on track. There’s a lot you, as a parent, can do to help your child learn from the situation and become a more productive and supportive part of her peer group. Here are 10 actions you can take today to help create better outcomes for both
Ten Actions Parents Can Take if Your Child is Bullying Others Have an honest and firm Your behavior teaches conversation with your your children how to child. behave. Make a commitment to Spend time getting to help your child find know your child. healthy ways to resolve Be realistic and patient. conflict and to stop bullying others. Continue to work and communicate with school Schedule an appointment staff for as long as it takes. to talk with school staff including your child’s Don’t be afraid to ask for teacher(s) and the school help. counselor. Develop clear and consistent family rules for behavior and follow through on your child’s compliance to those rules. Monitor your child’s behavior at home closely.
Statistics about Parents and Cyber- bullying According to two surveys—one of principals and one of parents conducted by Education.com and NAESP, only 31 percent of parents feel fully prepared to handle the situation when their child has been a victim of bullying. Parents feel slightly more confident about what to do when their child has witnessed bullying (40 percent) or when their child has bullied other children (43 percent). The Education.com survey also revealed that only 27% of parents believe their schools staff and parents are well aligned on anti-bullying efforts while the survey of NAESP members revealed that only 14% of principals believe parents and school efforts are completely aligned.
What can Teachers Do? Experts say that schools need to stop worrying about external internet predators and take on the threat within: cyber-bullying The response from many schools was initially to teach internet safety in terms of protection from the two Ps: predators and pornography. Many experts now believe this was very much the wrong approach.
Teachers The focus today, Agatston and Magid agree, should be on empowering kids to be good digital citizens. A school’s focus should be more on the following: how to protect personal information, interact in social forums, deal with cyber-bullying, and critically judge online information are all among these vital skills. "We let them assume responsibility for their own learning and their own online experience," says Linda Burch, Common Sense Medias chief education and strategy officer.
Teachers "Bullying and cyber-bullying have a lot in common, but in many ways, cyber-bullying is even more pernicious," says Anne Schreiber, vice president of education content at Common Sense Media. Administrators cant shrug off issues of cyber- bullying by arguing that the bulk of the issues happen with kids outside of school or that they simply dont have time in the school day. Addressing cyber-bullying in school improves attendance as well as students focus on their schoolwork.
Teacher and Staff Training is Key According to a 2010 survey from the National Cyber Security Alliance, just 50 percent of teachers who participated in the study felt prepared to discuss cyber-bullying. Over three quarters of teachers surveyed spent less than six hours on any type of professional development education related to cyber- ethics, cyber-safety, and cyber-security within the last 12 months. At school, many districts are in need of expanding or revising their policies and procedures around dealing with these important 21st century issues.
How Teachers can Help Prevent Cyber-bullying Assess cyber-bullying: Effective Spend class time on the topic of cyber- bullying prevention programs begin with bullying and positive digital citizenship: an assessment of the problem in your Classroom discussions should be part of the school or district. regularly held discussions on bullying and cover such topics as defining cyber-bullying; Develop clear policies: Policies should school policies and rules regarding cyber- address both on-campus and off-campus bullying; how to report cyber-bullying acts that have or could have a substantial behavior; how to best respond to cyber- disruption on student learning or safety. bullying behavior; and the bystander role as it applies to cyber-bullying. Provide staff training: Just as staff training is needed to adequately address Teach students online "netiquette," safe bullying behavior and encourage positive use of social media, and how to monitor bystander behavior, training on their online reputation: These vital social preventing and responding to cyber- skills also have an impact on job preparedness, as social technology is bullying, as well as the broader topic of increasingly being incorporated into most encouraging positive digital citizenship, is career paths. Lessons can be infused a necessary part of any digital citizenship throughout the curriculum where program. appropriate. Discussions can take place Train and utilize student mentors: when using technology in the classroom as Effective prevention programming well as when addressing career and college includes incorporating youth guidance. leadership, particularly to address school Form parent/community/school climate issues. Making use of student partnerships: Everyone has a role to play in leadership sends a strong message to encouraging positive digital citizenship. other youth and also recognizes that the Schools need to partner with parents and peer group often has more legitimacy community organizations in making sure that than the teacher in addressing social there is a consistent message about the responsible and ethical use of technology. issues.
Can you Spot a Bully when you see One? School districts should work to foster a school environment where young people are free to express themselves and their identity online, but do it in a safe, thoughtful, and respectful manner.
References Gillesppie, Nick. (03/30.2012). Stop Panicking about Bullies. The Wall Street Journal. Saturday Edition, Section C1. Retrieved 04/01/2012, from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303404704577311664105 746848.html Levy, Peter.(05/02/11).Confronting Cyberbullying. The Journal, Digital Citizenship Feature, page 49, Retrieved: April 1st, 2012, from http://thejournal.com/Articles/2011/05/02/Confronting- Cyberbullying.aspx?p=1 PRNewswire.(03/22/2012). Education.com Reveals that 1/3 of Parents Uncertain how to Handle Cyberbullying. YahooFinance.com, Press Release, Retrieved 04/01/12, from http://finance.yahoo.com/news/education-com-reveals-one-third- 130000094.html All of these were created by www.education.com http://www.education.com/topic/school-bullying-teasing/?cid=20.20 http://www.education.com/reference/article/ten-actions-to-eliminate- bullying/?cid=20.20 http://www.education.com/reference/article/actions-parents-of- bullies/?cid=20.20 http://www.education.com/reference/article/actions-take-child-involved- bullying/?cid=20.20