October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and SchoolMart is here to provide you with tips on how to prevent bullying within your classrooms. Cyberbullying is one of the most common forms of bullying, especially with the latest growth of online-learning and virtual classrooms. Here, the team of edtech professionals at SchoolMart provides several tips on how to protect students from cyberbullying this school year.
In order to truly protect students from cyberbullying, it is important to raise awareness and provide information for students. The Cyberbullying Research Center defines cyberbullying as “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.” Common examples include spreading rumors or making unkind remarks or comments towards another student online, most often through social media platforms or text messaging. By establishing a school-wide definition of cyberbullying, as well as distributing handouts or displaying informational flyers, students will not only know what cyberbullying is, but also better grasp how detrimental it can be to a student’s well-being.
Monitoring Technology Platforms & Devices
Since cyberbullying takes place online, the power of technology can aid in its prevention. Learnsafe is just one example of a technology monitoring platform that detects cyberbullying on school technology devices. Not only can Learnsafe monitor online activities, but it tracks offline activity as well. Learnsafe allows school administrators to witness the online and offline behavior of students and send notifications of any potential threatening activity, offering the ability to intervene if necessary.
Create An Inclusive Culture
Studies have shown that most students are bullied based on their differences: weight, looks, race, or sexual orientation. Schools should aim to create an inclusive culture within their learning environments, celebrating student diversity. Teaching students to embrace differences at an early age can help prevent discrimination and therefore lead to fewer instances of bullying.
Provide Training For Teachers
Even though most cyberbullying occurs on students’ personal technology devices at home, teachers can still play a huge role in its prevention, as some cases can continue in the school environment. Training can provide teachers with the tools they need to easily detect signs of cyberbullying, such as keeping an eye on a student’s emotions or listening for keywords such as “drama” or “haters.” This training can allow teachers to further protect students from bullying or grant them the ability to intervene if necessary. Teachers should also be instructed on how to promote an anti-bullying environment within their classrooms by encouraging students to be respectful and accepting of one another.
Develop Anti-Bullying Policies
One of the best ways a school can aim to prevent cyberbullying is to have defined rules and policies regarding anti-bullying and technology use. Not only can these policies help students understand the dangers of cyberbullying, but it can also provide a general awareness of good digital citizenship. These policies can detail how to use technology appropriately and responsibly. It might be helpful to include examples of what would qualify as cyberbullying, such as verbal harassment, threats, and rumors, and the potential legal consequences detailed in state and federal laws for extreme cases of cyberbullying.
Contact SchoolMart For More Tips To Prevent Cyberbullying
Unfortunately, cyberbullying is a common occurrence amongst young students across the entire country; according to the NCPC, roughly 43% of students have either experienced or witnessed some form of cyberbullying. SchoolMart aims to lower this statistic and hopes to restore healthy and positive classroom environments. For more information on cyberbullying prevention visit https://www.stopbullying.gov/.