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Cyberbullying: A Widespread and Growing Phenomenon

Bullying is an ongoing pattern of harassment and abuse that can be done directly through physical or verbal attacks or indirectly by exclusion, spreading rumors, etc. Cyberbullying is a growing problem among middle and high school aged students. Bullies seek power through aggression and direct their attacks on vulnerable victims. While most teachers believe they always intervene in face-to-face bullying, only 25% of students report they have received teachers’ help when they needed it.

Cyberbullying is, in many ways, a larger problem than face-to-face bullying.  Adults and peers are often not in a position to intervene. It is far too easy for cyberbullies to convince themselves they are merely “joking.” Some are surprised at the harm they cause, because the abuse did not feel “real;” victims’ hurt is not visible as useful feedback for the bullies to experience as a “reality check.”

Lack of coordination among school staff, parents and students make cyber- and offline bullying a continual threat to young people’s confidence and safety.

In this age of social media where face-to-face contact is becoming more and more nonexistent as well as offline bullying continuing to be a problem, here are some things you can do to teach others how to deal with bullying:

·         Teach him/her how to walk away from the bully and how to use assertiveness training; do not confront the bully yourself

·         Create a strong support team around you.

·         Meet with school staff and make a plan to confront cyberbullying.

·         Learn how to block offended users on social media sites.

·         Speak up on behalf of those who are being bullied and against the bullies themselves.

·         Know that a bully cannot control how you live your life and you can do anything that you want to! 

Posted: Oct 31, 2013 by Sean Coleman

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