Bullying is an issue. The harassment and violation of a student’s basic civil right to feel safe in school. Distractions to a student’s education needs to be addressed. Bullying has been addressed but there is no simple solution to fixing this issue. There are many programs in place to protect bully victims and most school districts have a zero tolerance program for bullies.
While these programs are in place for bullying a major issue is that victims either don’t know about the power they have in the situation or about the people who are eager to help them. While a part of this comes from a lack of awareness of these programs, another aspect is the change in technology. Bullying is no longer bound to face to face confrontations. The bullies have gone digital.
To define what cyberbullying is first we need to identify what traditional bullying is. Traditional bully is a face to face interaction between bully and victim. Traditional bullying is when a student is bullied when they come in contact with the bully. A traditional bully is easy to identify because the victims of bullying see their face and know who their attacker are and face to face bullying happens in isolated areas with limited witnesses. Witnesses in a traditional bullying case are more likely to tell an adult or inform people of the transgressions because traditional bullying happens in a public setting.
Cyberbullying is different than face to face bullying. Unlike with face to face bullying, cyber bullying can occur at any time of the day. Be it morning or midnight a victim of cyberbullying can and will be harassed constantly. Along with constant harassment there is no safe space for the victim to take shelter from. With traditional bullying if you separate the victim from the bully typically the student is in a safe space. As opposed to the cyber bullying there is nowhere for the victim to flee from the constant barrage of digital harassment.
Cyberbullies have the ability to harass through anonymity and harass their victim in a very public forum without much risk. Along with the anonymity there is a lack of humanity when the victims and bullies are represented by internet handles and random images that represent them. The lack of a face and voice makes identifying and feeling makes the bullying interaction hard to empathize with the victims of cyberbullying for those reasons.
Some examples of what cyberbullying is can vary from post to post. Cyber bullying is abusive text messages, insulting websites or social media posts, as well as pictures and videos that are posted for the sole purpose of public ridicule and humiliation. Cyber bullying is anything that is posted through electronic means for the purpose to cause harm, discomfort, or abuse towards a victim.With all of the talk of the victim there is a high turnover rate for victims of cyberbullying will cyberbully others in the future.
In the classroom cyberbullying should not be taken any lighter than face to face bullying. According to YRBSS(Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System) student who are Students who fall victim to Cyberbullying are likely to use drugs or alcohol,skip school,experience in person bullying,be unwilling to attend school,receive poor grades,have lower self esteem,and be at risk of having more health issues than non victims.
Knowledge is power. The best way to prevent future cyberbullying is by spreading awareness that victims are not alone, powerless, and there are people who want to help them overcome this obstacle. Every teacher should talk about cyberbullying and establish that the act of cyberbullying will not be tolerated in the classroom. As well as talk with students about their school’s specific rules in place regarding electronic bullying.
Along with the rules and the zero tolerance bullying has in the classroom teachers can combat cyberbullying by instructing students on how to report cyberbullying. Reporting cyber bullying falls under two categories threats and harassment. If the threats are threats of violence, stalking, or a photo that invades your privacy contact a law enforcement officer. If threats are harassment the bullying incident needs to be brought to a trusted guardian.
For all kinds of cyber bullying there are five steps to properly record and report and incident.Step one is to not respond or forward the Cyberbullies message.By giving the posts more traction and response it gives the cyber bully more power.Step two is to take a screenshot Keeping a piece of evidence of the incident is important in case the bully deletes their post. The screen cap will serve as your evidence when you report the cyberbullying incident.
Keep evidence of the attack such as time, date, and descriptions of each incident.Step three is to block the Cyberbully! Why would you keep that hurtful and harmful person in your life. Step four is to reach out to a parent, teacher, or a trusted guardian. Student need to know they are not alone in this endeavour. The last step is about the severity of the attack. If the attack is a threat upon your life or breaches your privacy contact law enforcement immediately with your collected evidence.
Cyberbullying should not be taken lightly. The act of cyberbullying is just as harmful to students as physical bullying is. Cyberbullying is a growing issue of the secondary education classroom that needs to have more awareness spread about what victims can do to protect themselves. The more knowledge that is spread about cyberbullying the better life will be in the classroom.
“YRBSS | Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System | Data | Adolescent And School Health | CDC”. Cdc.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.
“Cyberbullying | Stopbullying.Gov”. Stopbullying.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.