This week, our topic is cyberbullying and how to address the issue with children and adolescents. Now that nearly 80% of adolescents regularly use cell phones, cyberbullying is becoming more common. It’s important to acknowledge that most teens will use technology in a responsible manner, but for those who are being bullied, it can have devastating consequences.
One of the problems with cyberbullying is the low incidence of reporting.
Fewer than 25% of victims tell a parent and even fewer (6%) told a teacher. Educational programs geared toward cyberbullying should be done regularly, starting in early elementary school. It is important to emphasize that most kids will use technology in an ethical manner, but if cyberbullying occurs, it should be reported to an adult so they can get help with stopping the bullying.
It is disheartening to know that 52% of young people report being cyberbullied and 1 in 6 have bullied others. Since most of cyberbullying happens outside of school, it can be difficult for teachers to get involved. However, school leaders should take on the ethical responsibility of protecting our youth by creating prevention programs and implementing protocols to help our youth when they report that they have been cyberbullied.