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Cyber Bullying

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Cyber Bullying


Compiled by Michelle Young, M.S. Ed                                                                                             April 2012

Parent Resource Center                

5905 Forest Pl, Ste 205     

Little Rock, AR 72207


What Is Cyber Bullying?


Cyber bullying, also known as electronic bullying or online social cruelty is defined as bullying:


  • through email
  • through instant messaging
  • in a chat room
  • on a website or gaming site
  • through digital messages or images sent to a cellular phone


Although sharing certain features is common with traditional bullying, cyber bullying represents a unique phenomenon that has only recently begun to receive attention in both the popular press and in academic circles. Cyber bullying not only looks and feels a bit different than traditional bullying, but presents some unique challenges in dealing with it.  (Kowalski, Limber and Agatston, 2007)




Who Cyber Bullies?


Both boys and girls cyber bully, although it appears that girls are more likely to engage in cyber bullying and be targeted by cyber bullying than their male counterparts. This is a difference from traditional bullying, where we find boys engaging in bullying behaviors or being targeted in higher numbers than girls.



Effects of Cyber bullying


Cell phones and computers themselves are not to blame for cyber bullying. Social media sites can be used for positive activities, like connecting kids with friends and family, helping students with school, and for entertainment. But these tools can also be used to hurt other people. Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of bullying are similar.


Kids who are cyber bullied are more likely to:

  • Use alcohol and drugs
  • Skip school
  • Experience in-person bullying
  • Be unwilling to attend school
  • Receive poor grades
  • Have lower self-esteem
  • Have more health problems


Frequency of Cyber bullying


The 2008–2009 School Crime Supplement (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that 6% of students in grades 6–12 experienced cyber bullying.


Research on cyber bullying is growing. However, because kids' technology use changes rapidly, it is difficult to design surveys that accurately capture trends.



How can parents prevent Cyber Bullying?


Communicate with your children about their online experiences.


Parents need to discuss cyber bullying with their children as part of their regular discussions about Internet Safety and appropriate use of technologies. Parents can make it clear that using the Internet or cellular phones to embarrass or hurt others' feelings is not part of their family values. Discussing the golden rule as it applies to internet and technology use can be very helpful. Parents should discuss bystander behavior as well, encouraging children to speak out against cyber bullying they witness and to report it to the appropriate person. In addition, parents need to set up guidelines for appropriate use for each new piece of technology that is brought into the home.



How Can Educators Prevent Cyber Bullying?


Teach Students Online "Netiquette", Safe Blogging, and How to Monitor Their Online Reputation.


"Online netiquette skills are becoming vital as technology is increasingly being incorporated into most career paths. Many schools encourage teachers to keep blogs where class and homework assignments are posted for students to review. Students are asked to post assignments online. Providing tips on appropriate posting and online etiquette as part of incorporating more technology in the classroom is critical. In addition schools need clear policies against bullying and cyber bullying, and bullying prevention programs in their schools." (Kowalski, Limber & Agatston, 2007)


How Can Students Prevent Cyber Bullying?


Become a courageous bystander!


  • Don't engage in or support mean material, gossip, or rumors posted online, or talk about it at school.
  • Support a classmate being targeted online by posting positive messages!
  • If you know the person being targeted, invite him/her to spend time with you.
  • Tell an adult at home and at school.
  • Print the evidence to share with an adult.
  • Confront the student who is cyber bullying if it is safe, and make it clear that you think their behavior is wrong.
  • Remember that we are not invisible online, and anything we post can be traced back to us. Monitor your online reputation. (Kowalski, Limber & Agatston, 2007)



Sources:  Cyber Bullying: Bullying in the Digital Age;






Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyber bullying by Justin W. Patchin and Sameer Hinduja


Cyber Bullying: Bullying in the Digital Age by Robin M. Kowalski and Patricia W. Agatston PhD


Cyber Bullying: Protecting Kids and Adults from Online Bullies by Samuel C. McQuade


lol...OMG!: What Every Student Needs to Know About Online Reputation Management, Digital Citizenship and Cyber bullying by Matt Ivester







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