What is the key to stopping cyber bullying? Danah Boyd tells us that it’s empathy. Just as a marriage councilor’s most difficult task in reconciling differences is getting both parties to look at the situation from the other persons point of view.
I agree that education in empathy is the key. I teach Kindergarten and I already see forms of bullying. In kindergarten it’s usually exclusion. One child will decide they don’t like another child, so they will tell their friends not to play with them. Luckily one of the great things about kindergarten is that you can intervene and actually make a difference.
My school is making a BIG push in values education. Students are constantly reminded to be kind and respectful. However, if that’s not the way they are also taught to behave at home; then they are just following the school’s values while the teacher is looking. Empathy must be truly instilled in children to affect real change.