Who Should Deal With Cyberbullies?

Image by J_O_I_D. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Commons' licensing.
Image by J_O_I_D. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Commons’ licensing.

Recently on the ISTE Connects Blog, Nicole Krueger wrote a great piece titled, Who’s Responsible for Teaching Kids Not to Be Cyberbullies? This type of bullying has gotten a fair amount of play in the media recently, often leading to tragic endings. In first person, Nicole describes what it is like in the  life of a bullied middle schooler before social media, and after. Her post made me realize how much additional stress is placed on kids who are bullied today, and it is time to figure out who should address this topic. Sometimes, parents think schools should handle it, while school administrators say they cannot ensure what students do outside of the school day. An interesting conundrum, but worth addressing.

Krueger goes on to  write….“In a typical classroom of 30 middle or high school students, 21 students  will have experienced some form of cyberbullying, according to the Annual Cyberbullying Survey 2013, which included responses from more than 10,000 teens worldwide. Of those 21 students, more than 10 are daily victims. The top venue for bullying: Facebook, which is used by 75 percent of respondents — more than half of whom have been bullied there.” And now that Facebook has loosened its privacy rules for teens, allowing minors to post publicly instead of just to their friends, the door to bullying has gotten a little wider for everyone from “mean girls” to sextortionists.

Does cyberbullying happen in your school? Who is responsible for teaching  this important content, and does your school develop its own curriculum on this subject?