Cyberbullying

 

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Parents and teachers need to work together to educate our students and make them aware of cyberbullying.  At school this education has to start early.  All students need clear guidelines when using technology and firm consequences when breaking these guidelines.  Students need to understand what cyberbullying is and the impact it has on others.  There are great resources to teach this available online such as commonsensemedia.org and brainpop.com to name a few. It is also important to take the time to create a classroom community where all members of the class feel respected and safe.  Being diligent about emphasizing the importance of Character Education and teaching children how to be caring, responsible citizens that show integrity is important. 

 

Parents play a key role in educating their children about cyberbullying as well.   They need  an awareness of cyberbullying and the tools and resources available out there to help them.  I have listed some websites below that our technology specialist shared with parents at a meeting about cyberbullying.  The sites share many things that will help educate parents from the teen chat decoder where you can type in things (lol or pos) and the decoder will give you the meanings (laugh out loud, parent over shoulder), a parent guide to facebook, definitions of cyberbullying, online safety tips and many more.  When equipping parents with these helpful websites it gives them more information and opens the lines of communication between them and their children even more.  The importance of conversation was highlighted in a quote from the article, Talk With Your Kids About Being Safer Online,

 Although there are plenty of tools that can be used to try to control or monitor what your kids are doing online, the best approach for most parents is that oldest of tools called conversation. Having an occasional chat with your kids about how they’re using technology can go a long way towards them safer, and learning more about actual risks can help keep you saner.

Websites for parents and teachers:

http://www.commonsensemedia.org/about-us/our-mission 

http://www.safekids.com/

http://www.teenchatdecoder.com/

http://www.netsmartz411.org/

http://www.facebookforparents.org/

http://www.brainpop.com/

So the responsibility of educating students about cyberbullying lies with the teachers and parents.  We need to begin by modeling acceptable use and coaching our students/children to do the same. 

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