Suzie checks her Facebook using her iPod at least 5 times a day. John sends 20 text messages a day to his friends and family. Mary posts to her YouTube channel once a week and gets 5,000 views for each video. Our kids are connected to others in ways we never thought possible ten years ago. They want to share themselves with the world and use the online tools available to them to showcase their ideas and personality, but also to hear back from people like them. However, sometimes this connectedness our children have can receive negative reactions. Cyber bullying is defined as the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person, often done anonymously. It can be as simple and direct as a text message or email. As quick as a YouTube comment. Or it can have far reaching exposure, such as a Facebook post, a YouTube video, or a Twitter post which can be seen by hundreds of people. The fifth grade students at SCC learn all about cyber bullying in their guidance and library classes. Students learn what cyber bullying is, how it affects others, and what the consequences of it could be. Students discuss how they feel when they are bullied face-to-face and how they might feel if they were bullied online.
There are three easy ways that you can help your student protect themselves from being a victim of cyber bullying.
- Know what your child is accessing and posting online. Ask where they are going and have them show you how a site works if you don’t know.
- Let your child know that if they are being cyber bullied they should tell you or someone they trust about it.
- Talk to your child about how their online presence. Do they have positive things out there or are they posting negative comments and pictures? What would they like college admission officers and future employers to see?
If you have reason to believe your student is being cyber bullied by another student, need help, and would like to discuss the situation with one of the school counselors, please do not hesitate to call or email them.