Don't think of cyberbullying as separate from bullying
- Reginald Corbett, founder of cyber awareness education organization SafeCyber, encourages schools to address cyberbullying as they do other types of bullying — with a relationship management approach.
- For eSchool News, Corbett writes digital devices simply facilitate interactions, they do not cause them, so rather than restricting access to the devices, schools and families should focus on the behaviors of children, teaching resilience and pro-social values early so students are equipped to handle bullying.
- Corbett also says scholars should be involved in creating more resources that promote socially acceptable behavior and community organizations should partner with schools to raise awareness about bullying and attack the problem from multiple sides.
Bullying, in general, is a problem in schools. Online platforms give students more avenues through which they can be bullied or do the bullying, but eliminating them is nearly impossible. New social media apps spring up all the time offering anonymous ways for students to torment each other. It is important to keep in mind, however, that surveys suggest far more students are the victims of in-person bullying than cyberbullying — and most of the students who are the victims of cyberbullying are also bullied in person.
Schools that emphasize respect and create safe learning environments for students can address bullying of all types. Ignoring the problem does not help. Nor do one-size-fits-all prevention measures. Administrators are better off getting a handle on the unique types of bullying happening in their schools using surveys and tailoring their efforts to local conditions.
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