Cyberbullying has been a main focus for school administration for many years now, but a phenomenon called digital self-harm (cyberbullying oneself) may need to make its way into current cyberbullying prevention efforts. Digital self-harm behavior was identified about 10 years ago by clinicians and law enforcement, but only a small handful of researchers have explored the topic.
A study done in 2019 (and recently released) found that one in 10 middle and high school students admitted to engaging in digital self-harm. A separate survey from 2017 found that 6% of middle and high school students surveyed “anonymously posted something about themselves that was mean.” And, a survey done in 2013 found that “9% of students surveyed engaged in digital self-harm.” With students online more than ever due to COVID-19, it’s not surprising to see digital self-harm numbers increasing.
Just like cyberbullying, this practice can have tragic outcomes so digital self-harm should make its way on to the radar of district administration and leaders and be included in cyberbullying prevention policies, procedures, and education.
Data released during the second half of 2020 confirmed that the pandemic is taking a serious toll on children’s social, emotional, and mental health. Remote learning is making digital citizenship and cyberbullying awareness more important than ever.
From the developers of the leading safety and compliance training solution for school staff, Vector Solutions’ courses for students cover essential safety, wellness, and social and emotional learning topics, and help educators facilitate important discussions with their students. Course topics include:
Short course modules provide maximum flexibility to use for primary prevention or remediation and can be used in both in-person and distance learning environments. Teacher lesson plans feature activities and discussion questions to support teachers in using these resources with their students.