Friday, November 13, 2009

What are You Doing about Bullying?

The UK government recently released a study of 10,000 teenagers that states 47% have experienced some sort of bullying. The most common form of bullying that they faced was name calling and cyberbullying. The age in which bullying is the most prevalent, according to the study, is 14. The National Crime Prevention Council here in the United States has published similar statistics. Their website states that 43% of students they surveyed have experienced some type of cyberbullying. It is important to teach students strategies on how to deal with cyberbullies. First, the victims need to talk about it with someone. Of the 43% of students surveyed by the National Crime Prevention Council, only 11% talked to their parents about incidents of cyberbullying. The recent UK study found that the students of parents who reported bullying, were less likely to be bullied in the future.

There are many resources for teachers and parents to help students learn strategies to prevent and deal with cyberbullying. The Seattle Public Schools created an entire curriculum about cyberbullying. The National Crime Prevention Council also has many resources on their website to help parents and teachers learn more about cyberbullying prevention. You can also read past posts on cyberbullying with links to resources here in the BPS Internet Safety Blog.

There are some school based activities happening here in the Boston Public Schools surrounding cyberbullying. Mike Gavin, a teacher at the Harbor School, is teaching his eighth grade students about cyberbullying and cyberstalking. The students are in the process of creating blogs and using those blogs to communicate safe internet strategies. Way to go Mr. Gavin! We look forward to reading what the students have to say about cyberbullying and learning from them.

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