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How to Cope with Bullying

Posted by on October 13, 2017

cyberbullyOctober is National Bullying Prevention Month. Started in 2006, it aims to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention around the world and is supported by hundreds of schools, corporations, and celebrities. While schools can sponsor month-long events, the most popular is to wear orange on October 19th, designated Unity Day.

Why is this so important? Check these statistics (from Pacer.org):

Bullying doesn’t just occur in the physical world. Online bullying (called ‘cyberbullying’) is a growing and insidious activity that is proving even more destructive to children than any other kind. It includes not only websites, but cell phones, Nintendo, and Wii, as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Examples include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, and fake profiles. Kids who are cyberbullied 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

Sadly:

cyberbullyTeaching students to recognize, avoid, and survive cyberbullying starts with you, the educator. Use these five digital resources to provide age-appropriate and dynamic education to students:

  1. Bullied to Death--a true story of a teen who commits suicide because of cyberbullying
  2. Calling my Childhood Bully–a video about an adult who calls a boy who bullied him in high school (7 min.)
  3. Cyberbullying video—from BrainPop Jr; a good primer on the topic. Also included are topical games, activities, lesson plans, and a quiz. This can be viewed without a BrainPop Jr. subscription.
  4. Cyberbullying--geared for 5th grade and up; common questions students may ask about cyberbullying and the answers
  5. Cyberbullying—from BrainPop; a good overview; also included is a quiz and extended resources. This can be viewed without a BrainPop subscription.
  6. Cyberbullying—a discussion on what cyberbullying is; for older students or as a guideline for you when teaching the topic
  7. Think Time: How Does Cyberbullying Affect You–a hard-hitting short video that hits all the important points of cyberbullying

The best way to teach cyberbullying is as part of a unit on digital citizenship’s rights and responsibilities. When students use the internet, they likely only consider the benefits–what are called the ‘digital rights’–like these (from D. Ferris):

  • Right to freedom of expression
  • Right to privacy
  • Right to credit for personal works
  • Right to digital access
  • Right to our identity 

What they rarely consider–until they are pointed out to them–are the related digital responsibilities such as:

  • Responsibility to report bullying, harassing, sexting, or identity theft
  • Responsibility to cite works used for resources and researching
  • Responsibility to download music, videos, and other material legally
  • Responsibility to model and teach student expectations of technology use
  • Responsibility to keep data/information safe from hackers
  • Responsibility not to falsify our identity in any way

Make a discussion and understanding of the repercussions of cyberbullying part of an overarching curriculum on how students function  in the online world.

One more–a short, colorful book on how to prevent bullying:

Why Are There Bullies and What Can You Do About Them: An Interactive Book for Children, Parents, Counselors, and TeachersWhy Are There Bullies and What Can You Do About Them 

by Rich Linville

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rich Linville, the author of several humorous child-oriented books (such as one about unicorn jokes), takes a serious look at bullying in his latest publication, Why Are There Bullies and What Can You Do About It (Amazon Digital Services 2016). This is a delightful, interactive, easy-to-read book aimed at all stakeholders in the national epidemic of bullying. He organizes the topic into seven big questions such as What is bullying? and Why do people bully?  Then, Linville, a long-time teacher who’s probably seen more examples of the bullying kids inflict on each other than he ever wanted to, answers each question with a quick useful list of solutions that vary depending upon circumstances.

As a teacher for over 35 years, I highly recommend this book to fellow educators.

–published first on TeachHUB

More on cyberbullying and digital citizenship

Curriculum on digital citizenship

Building Digital Citizens (certificate class)

Image Copyright Do’s and Don’ts (lesson plan)

Internet Search and Research (lesson plan)


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

2 Responses to How to Cope with Bullying

  1. Rich Linville

    Jacqui, Thank you for information about this important topic that should be discussed from time to time by children and adults. Role playing is a valuable way for everyone to be prepared for bullying instances. Also, thank you for mentioning my book as a resource. I welcome suggestions and comments at richardvlinville@gmail.com. Thanks for all you do.

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