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Cyberbullying is one of the most prevalent and serious issues among children, teens, and young adults alike today. As technology continues to advance, avenues and opportunities for cyberbullying are beginning to multiply and become more sophisticated and powerful. At the same time, some parents are becoming more alienated and unfamiliar with this technology, making it even harder to identify and help our children whoengage in cyberbullying.
What Is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is when somebody uses an electronic means to harass, bully, or threaten another person. It most commonly takes place on social media or through phone calls or texts and experts believe it happens more frequently than in-person bullying due to perpetrators feeling safer and bolder behind a keyboard than they do in person.
According to researchers at Enough is Enough, almost 50% of teens have been bullied online and nearly 15% of the children studied readily admitted to researchers that they were the aggressor. Kids who are cyberbullied may feel like there is no escape, as children have constant access to various electronics nowadays. This constant cycle of bullying and pressure can lead to anxiety, depression, worsening grades, and in some cases even suicide.
In some rare cases, cyber bullies may find themselves in legal trouble, and more often, are expelled or suspended from their schools.
How Can I Tell If My Child Is Being Cyberbullied or Is Cyberbullying Others?
Signs that your child may be cyberbullying another kid or is being cyberbullied themselves are very similar to one another. Many victims of cyberbullying are also ashamed or embarrassed, leading them to keep it a secret from their parents or teachers. Some of the most common signs of cyberbullying, however, are harder to hide. They include:
Being upset during or after using their phone, computer, or social media
Being secretive about their online life and unwilling to talk about it
Outbursts of anger at home
Depression symptoms like withdrawal from friends or once-enjoyed activities
Seeming nervous about their phone or anxious about getting calls or texts
A complete stoppage in the use of the internet or their phone
Reluctancy to go to school
How Can Parents Help?
If you notice your child exhibiting any of these symptoms, approach them in a comforting, understanding, and supportive way. While children may feel like there is no escape, there are ways to help which can include:
Talking to your child in a supportive, understanding, and comforting way
Notify the school (Keep records of your child’s cyberbullying if possible)
Meet with a therapist
Limit access to technology
“Follow” your kids on social media to keep up with their postings
“Block” the bully
Experts suggest that parents who find their kids to be the cyberbully can also take a few helpful actions including:
Talking with a guidance counselor
Enforcing severe consequences related to inappropriate technology use
Be an online role model for your child
Parents can help their children who are experiencing cyberbullying by maintaining open and safe communication and educating them about responsible online behavior. Monitoring their online activities while respecting their privacy, teaching them how to block or report bullies, and involving school authorities or law enforcement when necessary are also crucial steps when it comes to helping kids involved in cyberbullying.
Again, as technology expands, avenues for new types of cyberbullying increase, but that doesn’t mean instances of it have to increase as well. Cyberbullying, through education, recognition, and follow-up, can be dealt with appropriately.
How Kokomo24/7® Can Help?
Kokomo24/7® understands that every school faces its own set of unique needs. We also recognize that bullying occurs in every school, and can provide your community with highly customizable, yet easy-to-use software tools that can help streamline the complex task of managing, tracking, and even preventing bullying and cyberbullying.
Our solutions such as our Incident Management tool, Anonymous Reporting System, and Custom Employee Engagement tools work to keep your students safe and can help better manage and address instances of bullying in the following ways:
Provide teachers, staff, and students with a private way to report concerning behavior such as bullying, or threats made by peers
Students can privately report their own mental health status and instances of bullying
Automatic escalation of vital reports to specific members with AI filtering, resulting in better management of cases of bullying
Option to automatically integrate reports into our Incident Management system
Collect and track incidents using the centralized dashboard such as student misconduct, bullying, and more
Assign follow-up activity with automated tasks
Keep students engaged through customized questionnaires and forms on any topic including mental health checkups and bullying, allowing you to get the feedback you need, when you need it
Alerts for failed response prompt quick follow-up which allows for more timely management of cases
Kokomo24/7® is a leader in compliance and risk management solutions for all things health and safety. Founded in 2018, Kokomo24/7® has a significant track record across Fortune 1000 companies as well as public-sector clients like the Los Angeles Unified School District and Chicago Public Schools. Ask us about the time we helped host the Oscars!
Join the hundreds of leaders using Kokomo24/7® solutions to help make their school safer and streamline workflow. From Anonymous Reporting to Customized Surveys, our tools can help you implement your health, safety, and well-being initiatives, and improve your workflow, all while meeting compliance requirements.
Get the health and safety platform you need to better navigate complex and changing circumstances and equip your students with the technology tools they need to better manage bullying.
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