Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying (2nd edition) Cyberbullying Research Center

We remain very proud of our award-winning cyberbullying book from Sage Publications, and continue to receive great feedback about it.  More and more school districts are purchasing it for their educators, and we are very thankful for that.  Our goal is (and has always been) to meaningfully equip those on the front lines of this problem with practical strategies they can immediately implement in schools and homes.  We hate fluff, and we are all about substance – and so towards that end I thought I would share with you some recommendations as to how our book might serve as the centerpiece of a cyberbullying prevention and intervention campaign at your school.

1.  Assign book, chapter by chapter, to all administrators at elementary, middle, and high schools across your district or county.  We know that many administrators will want their teachers to read it, and so you can decide what you want to mandate and what you want to make optional.

2.  Create a web site/blog/message board system where each administrator must respond within a certain timeframe to the “quiz” questions at the end of each chapter.

3.  Allow message board to facilitate dialogue between and among administrators on the “discussion” questions for each chapter.  They will be able to learn from each other, and this will contribute to a team-effort mentality across the district.

4.  Create a web-based form for the “Cyberbullying Report Card for Schools” to allow administrators to see where they stand on prevention/response initiatives at their campus, and a “Notes” section to indicate a plan of action (and timeline) for correcting deficiencies.

5.  Require each school to designate a Trustee (in keeping with the book’s suggestion) and create a master list of Trustees to be posted on the Web and made known throughout the school – so that everyone in the school knows the primary Point-of-Contact for cyberbullying-related matters at that school.

6.  Read the numerous cyberbullying-related scenarios presented in the book to students in all classes to stimulate dialogue about the issues, and to demonstrate that school personnel recognize the gravity of the problem and want to do whatever it takes to help.

7.  Have students at each school spearhead a PSA campaign (or something similar – like posters, comics, limericks, etc.) related to cyberbullying, and have a grand prize to give to the winning team(s).  Please see our handy Top Ten Cyberbullying Prevention Tips for Teens resource.

8.  Have a formal meeting once every Spring where the latest research findings and prevention/response information is presented to administrators from these schools.

9.  Require a PTA (or equivalent) meeting to be held at each school to demonstrate to parents that the school is on top of issues related to use and abuse of technology by students.

10.  Build in an evaluation component, where you survey administrator/teacher beliefs regarding cyberbullying before and after or through an experimental and control group.  You should also survey students about the extent to which their teachers/admins care about this issue (pre/post).  Our Cyberbullying Research Center can help with this and provide informal or formal guidance.

We’d love to hear how you have used and benefited from our book, and so please feel free to contact us with your thoughts and feedback!

2 Comments
  1. Debbie

    Shutting a Cyberbully Down- What we as educators should tell our students.

    I think that it is important to let my students and children in my family know what to do when they are being cyberbullied. I think it is important to tell children that the first thing they need to do is tell an adult. An adult can then e-mail the ISP (Internet Service Provider) and ask the ISP to deal with the problem. I think the next step for children is for them to stop cyberbullies from reaching them. Children need to know that they should think carefully before giving out their e-mail address and screen name. They should also be told that they shouldn’t reply if a cyberbully sends them a message. Instead they should block the bully so that they cannot reach them again. Children need to know that an adult can help them contact the phone company to block text messages from certain phone numbers or e-mail addresses. Children need to be reassured that they have done nothing wrong. The cyberbully may actually be breaking the law. There are a few safety tips that children need to know to stopping a cyberbully. Some of these are to only open messages from people you know and never reply to messages from a cyberbully. Another fact is to never forward e-mails without first asking the person who wrote the e-mail. The third fact that children should know is to print mean messages to show an adult. Then block the sender, and delete the message. Hopefully, if children receive the above advice and follow it they can prevent or stop a cyberbully from affecting them.

  2. Kim

    There are many mediums available for adolescents to get their message out and the rate at which these mediums advance technologically is alarming. The use of chat rooms where many kids visit at one time or social websites where children and adults alike are able to post their daily activities and even websites where videos of every type can be posted has allowed for a serious infliction of misery that takes the term “bullying” in the conventional sense to a whole new level. Today’s youth deal with bullying in a different sense because of these mediums, cyberbullying.

    Cyberbullying is different than the bullying that I grew up knowing in a few distinct ways; the cyberbully is often anonymous, they are able to get their message out quickly and to many individuals at once with little effort and they in many cases never have to face the person with which they are attempting to bully. There are many effects that a child who is being bullied carries with them. They begin to feel depressed, angry, sad and frustrated. These feelings lead to low self-esteem, poor performance in school and in recent cases suicide.

    Although parents, schools and law enforcement are aware of this problem it appears that none of the ladder has created ways to combat it. Parents often ignore the problem and use the excuse of being technologically challenged. Schools usually will not intervene if the problem has originated away from the school and law enforcement is reluctant to become involved if a crime is clearly not committed. What can be done?

    As a teacher in a large school district I see cyberbullying as a problem that has flown under the radar of law enforcement and parents. Adolescents are much more privileged today more than ever and parents do not monitor the privileges that they allow their children. This works both ways parents do not realize there is a problem until the unthinkable happens or until their child has caused the unthinkable. Parents need to be more involved in the activities that their children participate in whether sports or computer games parents need to monitor the amount of time and usage and also check often what their children are involved in. I have also noticed in my district many young children have their own cell phones and laptops. In my opinion these devices are totally unnecessary for young children and parents should exercise better judgment when making these purchases. I also believe that schools should work with law enforcement to create a campaign of knowledge like the DARE program that will educate adoloscents and school staff alike on the dangers of cyberbullying and how to prevent it. This can be offered in a series of assemblies during the school year where law enforcement can present to students throughout the year and create a “think tank” where officials can draw ideas and information from the kids and the kids have an outlet to get their feelings out. There also needs to be new laws aimed at cyberbullying in schools. Too often the school is looked at as a vehicle to implement many of the lessons that need to be taught by parents in the home and parents need to take the responsibility on themselves to monitor their child’s activities and be involved in every aspect of their lives.

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