What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is aggressive behavior that is sent via internet, cell phone, or another device. It could be sent or posted text, video, or an image with the intent to hurt, embarrass, or threaten an individual.
Unlike "old school" bullying, cyberbullying doesn't have to have a pattern over time. Cyberbulling could happen just one time - and may result in discipline upon the first instance if it is happening at school or is impacting the flow of learning at school.
Is Cyberbullying a New Phenomenon?
Cyberbullying is not new, but has become more widespread as more and more people have access to social media and texting through their smart phones. Cyberbullies often find it far easier to be even more cruel than they would be if they were face to face. The damage from bullying can also be worse when a situation "goes viral". It's possible that the content may never be able to be erased. In some cases, cyberbullies even conceal their identity--hiding behind their electronic screen which can make the situation even more difficult.
For some good resources on cyberbullying, visit:
Smart Phones: Should Kids Have Them?
Smartphones are basically amazing mini-computers and have opened a whole range of possibilities. They can provide parents with a sense of security in being able to contact their child, but also allow children to have less supervised access to the internet, social media, and communication with others. If you decide to provide your child with a cell phone or smartphone, here are a few helpful tips or things to remember:
- Communicate expectations to your child of when it is okay to use the phone (like before or after school only).
- Make sure your child knows where they should keep the phone while at school.
- Talk with your child about how to talk with others and what is acceptable to post online.
- Set clear boundaries about what apps or sites your child should be visiting - and follow up with your child about their online activities
- Help your child deal with feelings in positive ways
Cyberbullying is often harder to detect by parents, educators, and authorities, but can have a devastating impact on a child. In some cases, cyberbullying can be more dangerous than "old school" bullying, which is why it may result in necessary discipline upon a first instance.
For official Jordan District policies on bullying and cyberbullying, including possible disciplinary actions, see: