Bullying in school is still a concern after decades of trying to address the issue. There are many programs, strategies and techniques used to help address the issue. Technology adds just another platform for bullying.
- Among students ages 12-18 who reported being bullied at school during the school year, 15 % were bullied online or by text.
- An estimated 14.9% of high school students were electronically bullied 12 months before the survey.
This is according to the facts located on the stop bullying website. Cyberbullying is any aggressive, threatening, or “mean” conduct directed at a specific individual via electronic communication (email, social media posts, text messages, etc.). Did you know that girls are more likely to be the victims of cyberbullying? Also, boys admit to bullying others online. I have made the statement for years, “It is very easy to type or say things to a computer screen than to a person standing in front of you.” Understanding cyberbullying is an important step to take in beginning prevention.
The importance of having conversations about using technology is critical, but the topic of bullying is also essential. If cyberbullying goes on, it can cost lives. It is a true statement, as I have lost a student to suicide based on bullying at school and cyberbullying. The old saying of sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me ……now I replace it with cause death if not addressed with safety protocols. Peyton will always be part of my heart and memories. She moved away from me, but bullying issues remained a part of her life, unfortunately. I continue to work to stop bullying with you always on my mind.
Try this activity
- Travel size toothpaste
- Paper plates
- Paper towels
- Wet wipes
- *Have enough for each student to have one each.
Directions: Pass out the materials to students. Ask them to squeeze half of the toothpaste onto the paper plate. Now ask students to try to get the toothpaste back into the toothpaste tube.
The students will work to try to get the toothpaste back in, but it will not go back in. It can be messy; this is why we have paper towels and wet wipes. This is how it is with the words we speak, write, text and type. Once we say, place ink on the paper and press send, it is done—no going back. The choice has been made. There is power in our words.
Helping students understand the power of the words we use, the actions we take, and the choices we make are essential in all of our lives. Everyone should feel good, and everyone should feel safe in the world we live in. It takes each one of us to work together to support the changes we need.