CyberBullying Or CyberBuddies? Can Technology Teams Help Bring Greater Peace and Prosperity to the World? Yes, They Can! Here's How! Part Three
Last week, courtesy of The Tulane University School of Social Work, our RE@L Blog brought you Part Two of a Three-Part Resource Guide on the topic : “What is Cyberbullying?”
Click the graphic at the left to read Part Two if you missed it. We now bring you Part Three on CyberBullying, the remaining segment of our report.
Our blog readers have discovered that this Cyberbullying blight across our K12 communities has diminished the many, positive, potential results of K12 technology everywhere.
Tens of thousands of students have been subjected to serious bullying by others in recent years, often resulting in serious depression, mental illness and even suicide.
More incredibly, we often find that those who have bullied others have also been bullied themselves! Bullying has become a national “disease” that keeps on spreading more dystopia and dysfunction throughout K12!
RE@L believes Cyberbullying has become contagious. Instead of using the power of technology and social media to collaborate and solve common problems, Cyberbullying today belittles, diminishes, injures and endangers vulnerable K12 youth everywhere. Worse, it spreads!
Instead of using technology to solve problems, these powerful tech-tools and social media are too often being used to create a social media horde of hate and injury.
Educators, parents and communities must find a way to work together to counteract this spreading malaise. We need instead, to refocus our youth on the positive powers of Cyber-Teaming and Cyber-Collaboration. K12 learners need to work together instead of in opposition to each other.
Having read Parts One and Two of the Tulane Report, we now have a better idea of what CyberBullying is, and how it’s diminished collaborative learning and teaming in a K12 world. We next need to know what can be done to eradicate bullying.
Here’s the final Chapter 3: “Cyberbullying Prevention Tips, Laws and Policies.” Read on below:
“Chapter 3: Cyberbullying Prevention Tips, Laws, and Policies
Cyberbullying prevention is everyone’s responsibility, as it’s crucial for protecting the safety of children and teens all over the world. However, it’s sometimes difficult to tell if an adolescent is being bullied online or not.
There are several reasons that cyberbullying flies under the radar so often, and many well-meaning adults have no idea that there is a problem at all until the issue has become severe. It’s easy for bullies and their victims to hide cyberbullying because parents and teachers don’t see all the communications that occur between young people.
So much of cyberbullying takes place over mobile devices and online that it’s very easy for a child to be repeatedly harassed without any adults knowing about it.
Many victims are ashamed, or feel like they can’t talk about what’s going on, even with people they trust. Some fear it will make the bullying worse, or cause their peers to exclude them from social groups.
While it’s important to respect teens’ and children’s privacy, it’s just as important to help prevent cyberbullying and ensure that young people are not being abused and victimized online. Parents, educators, and mental health professionals should all learn to spot the warning signs of cyberbullying and proactively take steps to prevent cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying Prevention Tips
Though cyberbullying prevention isn’t 100% effective, parents and educators should remain vigilant and apply these tips to help keep kids from being abused by their peers online:
- Acknowledge cyberbullying and discuss with children and teens exactly what it is and why it’s so harmful.
- Create expectations around online conduct—teens should not send or circulate harmful content including messages, photos, or videos, even in retaliation.
- Look for signs of withdrawal, anxiety, depression, irritability, and other changes in behavior. This could indicate cyberbullying or other harassment.
- Remind teens to avoid sending or posting anything they would not want shared with all of their classmates.
- Be cautious about access to computers, phones, and social media accounts.
- Teach young people to safeguard their passwords and personal details online.
- Have teens block cyberbullies if they are being repeatedly contacted by someone who is trying to demean, humiliate, or harass them.
- Encourage teens to stand up to others who are being harassed, and to report cyberbullying they may witness.
- Provide resources such as counseling and hotline assistance for teens who need it.
Over the last few years, high-profile cyberbullying cases have caught lawmakers’ attention. There have been a number of recent cases involving teens who have been harassed online by groups of their peers, individuals, and even their boyfriends and girlfriends, leading to tragic deaths that could have been prevented with intervention.
Though no law can prevent cyberbullying altogether, having laws against cyberbullying is important for raising awareness and prosecuting crimes appropriately.
Unfortunately, there is currently no federal law that forbids cyberbullying. The good news is that most states have added on to their existing anti-bullying laws by specifically adding language that addresses cyberbullying. Only two do not include electronic harassment in their bullying laws.
Of the 48 states that do have laws against cyberbullying, 18 have criminal sanctions, and 12 have proposed criminal sanctions. Cyberbullying laws still have a ways to go, but the foundation is being laid across the nation to recognize and address this severe and growing problem.
Crimes and Punishments for Bullying
Anti-bullying laws vary greatly on the subject of crime and punishment for bullying. Many states leave the cyberbullying punishment up to the schools, however, schools have limited power when it comes to effectively curbing and punishing cyberbullying behavior.
Other states have given schools more assistance in cracking down on online harassment. California schools can suspend or expel students for cyberbullying, while schools in Oklahoma are empowered to work with law enforcement in cyberbullying cases.
In every state, schools are expected to respond to cyberbullying reports with a thorough investigation, providing support for targeted students and communicating with the involved students and their guardians.
- Cyberbullying Legislation and Case Law – An overview of cyberbullying law, as well as implications for school policy.
- Tips for Teachers – Are you a teacher looking for tips to help protect your students from cyberbullying? Check out this government resource designed specifically for educators.
- Online Safety and Cyberbullying Resources – A list of valuable resources that cover everything from online safety to cyber safety campaigns.
- Anti-Cyberbullying Toolkit – Valuable resource for parents, students and teachers to help prevent and identify cyberbullying.
- Cyberbullying and the Law – An overview of cyberbullying laws and regulations.”
RE@L Blog commends Tulane University’s School of Social Work for this valuable information guide on CyberBullying. It is imperative that we find ways to turn K12 Cyberbullying into CyberTeaming. Our needed STEM learning demands it.
RE@L suggests our readers keep these Anti-Bullying Guides in your personal Resource Folder. We also suggest you pass them on to your colleagues and communities.
Powerful, new collaborations among our students can further push the boundaries of K12 teaching and learning to a higher dimension of academic effectiveness.
RE@L plans on making this happen! Just as the world at large needs teamwork to get results, so do our many thousands of schools and districts. students and teachers and communities.
RE@L has a plan and a product to turn around Cyberbullying and make more CyberTeaming happens! While our current RE@L software focus has been on the emerging K12 STEM products, we also have on our drawing boards powerful, new software that addresses other key learning issues such as anti-bullying, collaborative teaming and learning.
Our next RE@L Blog will give you a peek at our far-ranging vision for RE@L software that will make a critical, positive difference for K12 learners everywhere.
Here’s an interesting graphic to remind you to tune into our next RE@L Blog, coming soon!
“Why is this man smiling?”
It has a lot to do with our creating collaborative learning teams that are made up of ALL of us.
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