An interesting item on Preventing cyber-bullying on yesterday’s Life Matters program. Among the points made are the two ‘peak’ ages for face-to-face bullying: around 10, when social hierarchies are being established (the developmental peak); and around 12, when the hierarchy needs to be re-established on the transition to high school (the transitional peak). By contrast, online bullying tends to increase with age, probably due to access to technology. Although schools are required to have policies on bullying, there’s a big difference between having a policy and implementing it. One of the difficulties for schools is that most cyber-bullying takes place outside school hours, although it has a significant impact on school work. There are links to the Child Health Promotion Research Centre and the Bullying No Way websites.

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4 Responses to “Cyber-bullying”

  1. Simon Kidd Says:

    Interesting that the technology that created the problem can also be used to help solve it!

  2. Mark Pegrum Says:

    I think there’s definitely room for more extensive digital safety programmes to be set up in schools. That would include suggesting strategies for dealing with instances of cyberbullying, e.g, asking students to take screen shots or capture some other records of the incident(s) and then bring them to the attention of teachers. I know of a couple of schools where this works quite successfully and teachers simply treat cyberbullying as a subcategory of bullying, which of course is something they have always had to deal with.

  3. meredithgreen Says:

    I was interested in the finding that there is about the same amount of bullying going on amongst boys and girls, but that for girls there is a greater amount of cyber-bullying and for boys it is traditional bullying. I wonder if there is also more ‘fetishism’ amongst girls than boys around new technologies and perhaps false beliefs about what they are capable of, in particular anonymity, privacy and a protected place from which to ‘have your say’. If students were more educated about how much anonymity, privacy and protection they were actually receiving by communicating through new technologies would they think again about cyber-bullying?

  4. Matt Outred Says:

    I’m very concerned about how “out-of-school” presence the teacher should have when dealing with cyber-bullying. With the Department’s new ruling that teachers shouldn’t converse with students online outside of school hours, it becomes the responsibility of the parents to report instances of bullying to the teacher, however parents often don’t get the complete picture from their child. It’s very much like treading on egg shells and I’m not sure there are definitive answers, but teacher action will depend on school policy and the context of the bullying.

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