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Bullying and Cyber-bullying Information

What is Bullying?

The repeated intimidation of others by the real or threatened infliction of physical, verbal, written, electronically transmitted, or emotional abuse, or through attacks on the property of another.

It may include, but not limited to, actions such as verbal taunts, name-calling, extortion of money or possessions, and put-downs, which could include ethnically-based, gender-based slurs.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is willful and repeated harm inflicted through the medium of electronic text. Cyberbullies use either a computer or a phone to send harassing email or text messages. Cyberbullies are malicious aggresors who seek implicit or explicit pleasure or profit through the mistreatment of another individual.

To be defined as cyberbullying, mistreatment must involve harmful behavior of a repetitive nature.

Different Forms of Cyberbullying

Flaming -online fights using electronic messages with angry and vulgar language

Harassment -repeatedly sending nasty, mean and insulting messages

Denigration -"dissing" someone online; sending or posting gossip or rumors about a person to damage his or her reputation or friendship

Impersonation -pretending to be someone else and sending or pasting material to get that person in trouble or danger or damage that person's reputation or friendships

Outing -sharing someone's secrets or embarrassing information or images online

Trickery - tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information, then sharing it online

Exclusion -intentionally and cruelly excluding someone form an online group

Cyberstalking -repeated, intense harassment and denigration that includes threats or creates significant fear

Nature and Extent of Cyberbullying

• In a survey of 1,500 internet-using adolescents who reported their experiences with cyberbullying, almost 80% said that  cyberbullying occurs online, while 32% of males and 36% of females reported experiencing cyberbullying.

• Almost 40% were disrespected, over 12% were threatened, and about 5% were scared for their safety.

• Negative emotional responses included significant amounts of frustration, anger and sadness.

• 28% of youth indicated that they had been bullied via email.

• Over 40% of youth who were cyberbullied did not tell anyone about the incident.

Cyberbullying Warning Signs

A child may be a victim of a cyberbully if he or she….

• Unexpectedly stops using the computer

• Appears nervous or jumpy when an instant message or email appears

• Appears uneasy about going to school or outside in general

• Appears to be angry, depressed, or frustrated after using the computer

• Avoids discussions about what he or she is doing on the computer

• Becomes abnormally withdrawn from usual friends and family members

A child may be cyberbullying others if he or she…

• Quickly switches screens or closes programs when you walk by

• Uses the computer at all hours of the night

• Gets unusually upset if he or she cannot use the computer

• Laughs excessively while using the computer

• Avoids discussions about what he or she is doing on the computer

• Is using multiple online accounts, or an account that is not his or her own

What can be Done About Cyberbullying?

• Teachers, administrators, and parents should proactively address the potentially negative uses of technology.

• Parents must regularly monitor the online activities in which children are engaged.

• Parents should also encourage an open dialogue with their children regarding issues of safety and responsible internet use.

• Teachers must take care to supervise students as they use computers in the classroom and should consider incorporating discussions of issues related to cyber safety in their curriculum where appropriate.

• School liaison officers and law enforcement officials must investigate all instances of harassment-including electronic bullying-and hold responsible parties accountable.

Assume that EVERYONE has access to your profile and will use the information to cause your harm.

Assume there are predators out there trying to find you based on the information you provide in your profile.

"Popular internet social networking sites such as myspace.com, facebook.com, xanga.com, personal blogs and web pages are prime places for cyberbullying."

Protect yourself!!

  • Disclosing personal information
    Young people are disclosing personal contact information and massive amounts of sensitive personal information in profiles, web pages, blogs, and through all forms of internet communications.
  • Internet addiction
    This is defined as an excessive amount of time spent using the internet, resulting in lack of healthy engagement in other areas of life.
  • Suicide and self-harm communities
    Depressed young people are interacting with sites and groups that provide information on suicide and self-harm methods (cutting, anorexia, fainting, etc.) and encouragement for such activities.
  • Hate group recruitment and gangs
    Sites and groups that foster hatred against "others" are actively recruiting angry, disconnected youth who informally use the internet to coordinate troublesome and dangerous activities.
  • Risky sexual behavior
    Young people are suing internet communities and matching services to make connections with others for sexual activities, ranging from online discussions about sex to "hook-ups," after which they might post or provide sexually suggestive or explicit pictures or videos.
  • Violent gaming
    Violent gaming frequently involves sexual or biased-based victims where young people often engage in online simulation games, which reinforce the perception that all interactions online, including violent ones, are "just a game."
  • Cyber Surf Island - a game that teaches important cyber safety tips and rules. It has levels in the game by grade starting at third grade up to eighth grade.  
  • Think. U. Knowan internet safety program that has training for adults as well as a program for kids to learn about online safety. The section for kids has how-to guides, games and tips on online safety.
  • Digital Safetya more general informational guide to internet safety but has specific sections on common safety concerns; it covers social media use, keeping kids safe online, cyberbullying  and password security.