Cyberbullies’ actions can have a greater and longer lasting effect than traditional physical bullying. Cyberbullying has quickly become a serious problem among children from elementary through high school. Cyberbullying leverages tools that students use most often to communicate among themselves and has increased because these tools are convenient and often free of adult oversight. They also provide the means to inflict immediate, devastating harm on the bully’s target. That’s because the bully’s message can be transmitted to and accessed by anyone in seconds, and traditional school safeguards are often ineffective. Cyberbullying has also been linked to depression, school violence, and suicide. Even if a few students participate in cyberbullying, it only takes one to do serious harm.
Check out our Cyberbullying Prevention Safety Tip video below for the definition of cyberbullying and tips to help keep your school safe.
Here are more tips that can help control cyberbullying on your campus and keep your school safe:
- You should be familiar with your school’s bullying policy. Since cyberbullying fits the traditional definition of bullying, your school’s anti-bullying policies apply to cyberbullying.
- You should always report cyberbullying immediately. Teach your students to report cyberbullying immediately, as well.
- Always carefully preserve any evidence of cyberbullying, including text messages, voicemail messages, images, videos, webpages, and any other digital evidence.
- Recognize that students are sophisticated users of technology at a young age. Cyberbullying is not just a high school issue, it’s common in middle school and late elementary school as well.
- If you become aware of cyberbullying and fail to report it, you, as well as your school, may become subject to lawsuits and other legal actions.
- Some actions like threats of violence and distribution of explicit images do more than just violate your school’s bullying policy. They may also be against the law so don’t hesitate to report potential criminal actions by carefully following your school’s policy.
- Your school should also update its Acceptable Use Policy to prohibit cyberbullying from locations away from school.
The SafeSchools Online Staff Training System offers an Online Safety: Cyberbullying course to provide school staff members with basic information on cyberbullying, its impact on your school, and steps you can take to reduce the threat of cyberbullying.
Our SafeSchools Alert Tip Reporting System allows students, staff, and parents to anonymously report safety concerns to school officials 24/7/365. Staff are immediately notified of every tip and can easily track and manage incidents to resolution within the web-based system.
Please contact us at [email protected] or 1-800-434-0154 to learn more about SafeSchools Training or SafeSchools Alert.