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Cyberbullying in the Middle Years


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Cyberbullying in the Middle Years

  1. 1. Cyberbullying in the Middle Years March 2011
  2. 2. Hello teachers! What we will discuss today:  What is cyberbullying?  The impact of cyberbullying on our teaching and student‘s learning  Let‘s explore and compare the different programs/resources in place in the USA and Australia.  We‘ll look at how the Australian cyberbullying programs/resources are used within a Queensland private High School and a Queensland public High School.  Some recommendations for dealing with cyberbullying in our school2
  3. 3. What is cyberbullying?  Cyberbullying is harassment via email, mobile phone texts, personal websites, blogs, online gaming, instant messaging, social networks.  Cyber bullies can target victims seemingly anonymously  Cyber bullies are often students you may not suspect (Urbanski & Permuth, 2009).  Victims fear losing Internet access if they tell parents (Goodstein, 2007).  Victims may also engage in cyberbullying (Urbanski & Permuth, 2009).  Bystanders or onlookers allow bullying to continue and3 give the bully power (Coloroso, 2008).
  4. 4. Cyberbullying in the middle years  The middle years is from Years 4 to 9.  The amount of teenagers on the Internet has increased and the amount of time they spend on the Internet is increasing.  Accessing the Internet and communicating with mobiles are part of the everyday life of many of our students. Teens may have access to the Internet 24/7 which makes them ―…susceptible to victimization (and able to act on mean intentions towards others) around the clock‖ (Hinduja & Patchin, 2010, p. 2).  ―ONE in five Australian parents believes their child4 has been bullied over the internet…‖ (Thom, 2011, p. 1).
  5. 5. Impact on teaching and learning  Victims of cyberbullying may get ―…depressed, sad, angry, and frustrated‖ (Hinduja & Patchin, 2010, p. 1).  Victims may develop social and psychological issues as well as have educational difficulties (Australian Communications and Media Authority, 2009b).  Cyberbullying has resulted in suicide and it negatively effects a student‘s capacity to learn in your classrooms. Let’s do something about it!5
  6. 6. The emotional effect of cyberbullying Victims of bullying, including cyberbullying, do not feel safe at school (Varjas, Henrich & Meyers, 2009).6
  7. 7. Cyberbullying programs and resources from the USA  Conference on Bullying Prevention ~ a major conference headed by President Obama and the First Lady in March 2011.  The media generated around this conference would have increased the public awareness of cyberbullying  Check out this video clip next time you‘re at your computer: President Obama & the First Lady: Conference on Bullying Prevention  ~ new USA Govt. website which went online the day of the conference.7
  8. 8. Cyberbullying programs and resources from the USA  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have created assessment tools/surveys (Hamburger, Basile & Vivolo, 2011) which are used by health educators or teachers.  We could use some of the survey questions as a great way to start talking about cyberbullying in the classroom!  OnGuard Online ~  Lots of information, onlines quizzes and videos (another great resource to use in our classrooms!)  Net Cetera, a specific campaign to help inform kids8
  9. 9. Australian cyberbullying programs and resources used in schools  Youth Advisory Group on cyber safety (YAG) ~ established by the Australian Govt. in 2009. A part of the comprehensive cyber safety plan (Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, 2011).  In 2011 YAG will include 120 schools and 1200 students to inform them of young adult‘s cyber issues and concerns.  Cybersafety Help Button ~ developed from the YAG advice. On desktops of all school computers. Can download onto home computer. The user double-clicks on the button and then can Talk, Learn or Report. The Talk section will link the user to Kids Helpline (Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, 2010).9
  10. 10. Australian online resources for students, teachers & parents budd:e ~ an eSecurity education package.  An Australian resource that informs students of online safety cyber(smart:) ~ created by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).  Includes educational lesson plans with videos Think U Know ~ Australian Federal Police and Microsoft Australia joined to create this site.  This explains how kids use technology Cure The Bullies ~ fun, interactive website that focuses on the bystander and helps kids realise that some things they may do might actually be an act of cyberbullying
  11. 11. The Queensland Department of Education &Training  Queensland Government Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students ~ all state schools are required to have one and it should be reviewed at least every 3 years (Department of Education and Training, 2011a).  Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence ~ advice on the best practices to address bullying and violence in Queensland schools (Department of Education and Training, 2011b).11
  12. 12. Comparison of USA & Australian programs/resources  Both the USA and Australia have identified cyberbullying as a major problem  Both countries have numerous programs and online tools to help teachers, parents and students understand cyberbullying issues and how to keep safe online.  I believe positive change is possible if we talk about this issue more and engage students, parents and the community in this discussion.  The action taken by the USA Government to hold a major Whitehouse Bullying conference is a good step in educating their whole community.12
  13. 13. (Sample Public School) A Queensland State School  Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students  Zero tolerance of bullying  Staff to take action for all bullying complaints  (Sample Public School) Anti Bullying Policy  No specific mention of cyberbullying within this document  Anti-bullying program  In-class lessons and reminders at assembly of the impact of cyberbullying  Have set up an anonymous bullying email ‗Hotline‘  Input student behaviour data on a daily basis into a database that helps track the effectiveness of their program and also identify specific issues  Internet usage agreement to be read and signed by both students and their parents.13
  14. 14. (Sample Private School) A Queensland private school  Computer usage agreement  Have students and parents read and sign  Include information regarding cyberbullying and the use of technology in their monthly newsletters  Internet Safety Awareness Presentation (Australian Communications and Media Authority: CyberSmart, 2009a)  The school holds these presentations once or twice a year for parents, students and teachers  Advise parents who complain about child being cyber bullied to inform the police14
  15. 15. Comparison of private and state school approaches to cyberbullying  Both schools have Internet usage agreements which parents and students are to read and sign  (Sample Public School) (state school) has a specific anti-bullying program in place, which means that they have specifically identified the issue and are trying to minimise its impact on a daily basis.  (Sample Private School) (private school) communicates to parents about cyberbullying and the use of technology on a regular basis through their monthly newsletters.15
  16. 16. “cyberbullying rarely occurs in our school”  I communicated with a teacher at (Sample Public School) and the Assistant to Director of Student Services at (Sample Private School) and both claimed that cyberbullying rarely occurred at their schools. Discussion:  Is this realistic?  Possibly students are reluctant to inform the school. Why do you think this may be the case? How can we ensure that students feel safe to tell us about these occurrences?16
  17. 17. Recommendations  Let‘s be realistic! Cyberbullying is more prevalent than we may realise. Talk about it with your students.  Introduce an anti-bullying program within our school and specifically include cyberbullying as a main focus.  Get more information regarding the use of a student behaviour database, as used at (Sample Public School)  Have students be part of deciding on what is acceptable behaviour and outline the steps that they can take to stop cyberbullying  Make action plans with students about how to deal with bullies, the victims and the bystander  Talk to students and parents about the use of technology and identify what is cyberbullying and the impacts that it has on our teaching and student‘s learning.17
  18. 18. Recommendations continued…  Look into hosting an Internet Safety Awareness Presentation by ACMA for our students, teachers, parents and interested community members  Hold evening cyberbullying information sessions for parents – create an online presentation for those parents unable to attend  Include in-class sessions in ICT, Business or Art courses using the budd:e and websites as a basis for learning about cyberbullying, technology, web art and web design  All teachers in classroom with computers should remind students about the purpose and use of the CyberSafety Help button.18  Review our Responsible Behaviour Plan for students
  19. 19. Conclusions  Cyberbullying has a negative impact on our students  Victims of bullying do not feel safe at school. Often they feel sad, embarrassed, depressed, frustrated and scared and this impacts on their ability to learn  The USA and Australia have strong cyberbullying programs and resources  Both private and public schools have Internet usage plans and have anti-cyberbullying programs or online safety awareness presentations – but more can be done!19
  20. 20. ReferencesAustralian Communications and Media Authority : CyberSmart. (2009a). Internet safety awareness presentation . Retrieved on 15 March, 2011 from ety%20Awareness%20Presentation.aspxAustralian Communications and Media Authority : CyberSmart. (2009b). Key characteristics and forms of cyberbullying. Retrieved on 15 March, 2011 from ying/Key%20characteristics%20and%20forms%20of%20cyberbullying.aspxColoroso, B. (2008). The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander. New York : Collins LivingDepartment of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. Australian Government. (2010). Cybersafety help button download page. Retrieved on 20 March, 2011 from dDepartment of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. Australian Government . (2011). Youth Advisory Group on cybersafety. Retrieved on 20 March, 2011 from oupDepartment of Education and Training. (2011a). Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students. Retrieved on 20 March, 2011 from
  21. 21. Department of Education and Training. (2011b). Queensland school alliance against violence. Retrieved on 20 March, 2011 from, A. (2007). Totally wired: what teens and tweens are really doing online. New York : Saint Martins GriffinHamburger, M. E., Basile, K.C., & Vivolo, A.M. (2011). Measuring bullying victimization, perpetration, and bystander experiences: a compendium of assessment tools. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. W. (2010). Cyberbullying: identification, prevention, and response. Retrieved on March 15, 2011 from heet.pdfSameer, H. & Patchin, J. W. (2008). How cyberbullying victims felt (table). Retrieved on 20 March, 2011 from, G. (March 6, 2011). Cyber bullying fears rife among parents. Herald Sun. Retrieved on March 15, 2011 from fears-rife-among-parents/story-e6frf7l6-1226016745249Urbanski, J. & Permuth, S. (2009). The truth about bullying: what educators and parents must know and do. Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield EducationVarjas, K., Henrich, C. C., & Meyers, J. (2009). Urban middle school students perceptions of bullying, cyberbullying, and school safety. Journal of School Violence, 8: 2, 159 —21 176