Don’t Ignore and Don’t Accept – Bullying
According to the 2011 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) "Nineteen percent of middle schools and 18 percent of high schools reported daily or weekly problems with cyberbullying, either at school or away from school." According to a number of other anti-bullying organizations, such as i-SAFE and the Cyberbullying Research Center, the numbers are even higher reporting that over half of teens have experienced cyber bullying of some type.
Cyber bullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person on the Web or cell phone. Bullies torment their victims, regardless of their size and age, as they send their hurtful messages from behind a computer screen in the privacy of their own homes. Through text messages, instant messages, social networking sites like Facebook, and even email, bullies can plague their victims at any time of day or night.
Have you or a friend of yours ever experienced an instance of cyber bullying? If so, how did you handle it? Find out ways that you can learn to handle cyber bullies as you work through these lessons.
A bully's actions usually are pretty aggressive and obvious. However, sometimes it is hard to distinguish when a peer is joking and when they intend to be mean-spirited or harmful.Â ProjectingÂ Â Make Safer Online Choices to the whole class; watch the video clip. After the clip,Â scroll down and read the list, 'Stuff to know about'. At the top of the page, click 'Comics' and then Â 'How Much is Too Much?' Read this Comic book and the 'Stuff to Know' list on the last page.
Continue with the whole-class activity by clicking the computer on this Cyberbullying Game.Â Read and play along to determine cases of cyber bullying. After this section, click the printer and continue to read and follow the instructions. Ask students to brainstorm examples of cyberbullying (list them on the whiteboard). Debate: should cyberbullying be illegal? Have students discuss the pros and cons of this type of legislation.
Ask students to work in pairs and work through the Raising Awareness of Cyber Bullying and Internet Safety applet. Listen and read along with Detective Henshaw to find out more about how to fight back against cyber bullies. Read the 'Mobile Phone' and 'Internet Safety' tips. Partners should discuss why it might be beneficial to completely shut your cell phone off at night. Watch the 'Virtual Global Taskforce' tv broadcast. Students shoiuld list what is so scary about the little girl's 'friend'? Finally, click the cell phone and check the inbox. Pick a story to read and have students describe the unfortunate incidence.
Have students return to the NS Teens site, watch Watch 'Cyberbullying: Broken Friendship' and then click and watch 'Cyberbullying: You Can't Take it Back'. Have the whole class discuss this prompt: Why is a 'Hot or Not' type of site disrespectful and a form of cyber bullying? Without naming any names, ask students if they can share specific observations or experiences of online bullying.
Let's hear what celebrities are saying. Working in groups of three or four, students first can read the information at Stomp Out Bullying. Then scroll back to the top and click 'Celebrity PSAs and Videos' in the top left corner. Choose at least 3 video clips to click/watch (more if you have time). Discuss within the group whyÂ is itÂ easier for a bully to attack in a digital environment than at a physical environment?
Next watch Cyber Setup (National Bullying Prevention Center). Work in groups of four- each student should take on the role of Â Melanie, her two friends, and Sarah). Play out the scenario and then make adjustments to the conversation based on how you would react if this were a real scenario. At the end of the video, it is stated "Parents really need to learn how to help without over reacting". What does this mean to you? Discuss this within your group. Discuss whether watching a video like this with parents would be beneficial.
It would be nice to think that there are no cyber bullies out there but have you ever stopped to consider that some of our own actions may be considered cyber bullying? Take this surveyÂ from Wired Kids; jot down tic marks for each line you answer 'yes' to and then count up your tally. Make a list ofÂ ways that you can change or improve your online behavior to prevent you from ever being labled a cyber bully.
Cyber bullies thrive in the modern day online environment.Â They strike on cell phones, in chat rooms, on social media programs, in email, and just about any digital method available. It is important to learn how to recognize and stop a cyber bully before someone or even you get hurt.Identifying and protecting yourself against a cyber bully is an essential survival key to middle and high school. Cyber bullying can happen to any student at any time and it is important to know that your teachers and parents are aware that it may occur. You should never stay quiet about it, no matter what.
Royal Canadian Mounting Police
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Stomp out Bullying
Wired Kids / StopCyberbullying.org