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What is Cyberbullying?

How to Know What People Are Saying About Your School

Cyberbullying is the use of ICT, particularly mobile phones and the internet, deliberately to upset someone else.  It is not just pupils who report being subject to Cyberbullying – teachers sometimes experience this also. There have been cases of school employees being cyberbullied by current or ex-pupils; by colleagues, parents and other adults, and by people who attempt to remain anonymous.

Cyberbullying may involve:

Email:

Such as by sending upsetting or threatening e-mails, including anonymously and copying to others. This might include information that an individual wishes to keep confidential, untrue and/or unkind descriptions and information, and secret complaints.

Social networking sites:

Such as by blocking one person as a friend, whilst discussing them with others, and perhaps agreeing ways to take this further. Also setting up profiles to make fun of others, and making comments on line whilst logged on as someone else.

Mobile phones:

Such as by sending abusive and/or humiliating text, picture or video messages. Also, encouraging others to take inappropriate pictures and videos of themselves, and once in receipt of these, forwarding to many other people.

Interactive gaming:

Such as by using the game characters to abuse and threaten other players, and creating characters to deliberately cause distress or embarrassment to others. Also, by deliberately excluding from a game.

How does Cyberbullying differ from other bullying?

  • It can occur anytime, anywhere, including both home and school
  • There is a the potential for large and almost instant audiences to the bullying
  • It can be unintentional, as it’s easy to not think about the consequences

Cyberbullying should be taken just as seriously as offline bullying.

Is it addressed in your behaviour policies?

Do you have any help, advice or experiences to share with other teachers?

You may find the following post useful: Bullying: Practical Strategies for Teachers and TAs

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