After recent discussions with some kids I wanted to share a little from their perspective….
Students are always being talked to about Cyberybullying and what they should do about it. The problem is many students don’t believe what the administrators or others are saying to them because they don’t believe they have the background and knowledge of what is “really happening” and what “really” should be done. All district have Bullying policies and they vary in what the consequences may be. Just a few comments about how you may wish to handle this when speaking with students..
1. Make sure to understand the sites you discuss when talking with them. If you don’t have the background on the sites then don’t use them as references. For instance…It’s not really easy to bully on Tumblr…you can but it isn’t that common. A lot bullying occurs on Formspring because it can be done anonymously. Formspring can be used to either boost your confidence but mostly it is used to bully and cut people down. Kids believe they can’t be caught when using this site. Formspring uses a question box and allows people to respond. So people anonymously put in the question box something like “Your a bad person”…
2. Make sure if you discuss consequences that you can give real examples of those so students can relate directly.
3. Sometimes the best person to come in and talk with the students is from the outside. They may respect that person more for what information they are providing.
4. Know that MySpace isn’t as popular as it once was..Facebook is popular but is not the only place bullying happens.
Hopefully students feel comfortable telling an adult about their own situations of being bullied and ask for help. It is also my hope that students feel comfortable telling adults if they know someone who is being bullied. Many kids want to help their friends but feel that they may be bullied if they tell..