Cyberbullying: What Schools Should Teach Children

Cyberbullying is defined as the use of digital communication platforms to harm, intimidate, or harass someone. This can take many forms, such as spreading rumours or sending hateful messages.

For example, sending messages via email, text, or social media that insult or threaten someone is an act of cyberbullying. Additionally, sharing false information or rumours about someone online falls under this category.

Another type of cyberbullying involves posting private or embarrassing content without the consent of the individual. This includes sharing photos or videos, which can seriously violate privacy and harm the victim’s mental and emotional well-being. Additionally, impersonating someone online to spread lies or damage their reputation is a harmful practice that can cause significant distress to the victim.

Cyberbullying can also include exclusion and harassment. Intentionally excluding someone from online groups or activities can make them feel isolated and marginalised. Similarly, repeatedly sending unwanted messages or threats is harassment, and it can be especially distressing when the perpetrator remains anonymous.

It’s important to recognise and address cyberbullying to create a safer and more respectful online environment.


What Strategies Should Every Child Know?


Cyberbullying is a serious concern that affects many children, but some steps can be taken to ensure their safety and well-being online. Here are some strategies for children to protect them from cyberbullying:


Think Before You Post


Always consider the impact of your online actions. Avoid sharing anything that could potentially hurt or embarrass others. Being kind and respectful in your online interactions helps maintain a safe digital environment.


Restrict The Bully


Block the bully on the platform they might be harassing you on and do not engage in communication. Most applications and devices have settings where you can restrict certain people from engaging with you.


Protect Your Privacy


Keep your passwords private and share them only with trusted individuals, such as your parents. Be cautious about who you allow to access your online accounts and adjust your privacy settings to control who can see your posts.


Communicate With Adults


If you are being cyberbullied or witness it happening to others, don’t hesitate to talk to a trusted adult about it. They can provide guidance and support, and may intervene to address the situation effectively.



Report Cyberbullying


If you receive hurtful messages or come across online content that makes you feel sad or scared, report it to a responsible adult, such as a teacher, immediately. Reporting cyberbullying helps prevent further harm and allows authorities to take appropriate action.


Stand Up For Others


Be compassionate towards those who are being bullied online. Include them in your activities, offer support, and stand up against cyberbullying whenever you witness it. Your actions can make a positive difference in someone else’s life.


Get Involved

Take an active role in preventing cyberbullying in your community. Share your ideas with adults, such as teachers or counsellors, about how to address bullying effectively. Participate in school programmes or initiatives aimed at promoting kindness and respect online.

It’s important to remember that cyberbullying is never your fault. No matter what happens online, you are not to blame. Cyberbullying is about the actions of the person doing the bullying, not anything you’ve done.

If you experience cyberbullying, reach out to a trusted adult for support. They can help you navigate the situation and provide the assistance you need to stay safe and feel supported.

By utilising these strategies, kids can play a vital role in creating a safer and more inclusive online environment, where everyone can interact without fear of cyberbullying. Remember, your actions have the power to make a difference and create a culture of kindness and respect in the digital world.


What Are The Potential Signs Of Cyberbullying?


Besides teaching children how to prevent cyberbullying, parents and guardians should also be aware of the possible signs that their child is being cyberbullied. This is crucial to effectively support children and teenagers who may be affected by cyber bullies.

These signs can be subtle, but could include emotional distress while or after using digital devices, increased secrecy about their online activities, and spending more time alone in their room. Other indicators could be withdrawal from family and friends, avoidance of social gatherings, declining academic performance, and changes in mood, behaviour, sleep, or appetite. If a child becomes nervous or agitated when receiving messages or avoids discussing their online interactions, that could also be a sign of cyberbullying.

It is essential that parents and guardians remain vigilant and open to discussing these behaviours with their children.

Cyberbullying is a severe problem that affects several children and adolescents. However, it is possible to combat it by being cautious of online interactions, protecting privacy, and seeking support from trusted adults. Parents and guardians should be aware of the signs of cyberbullying and openly communicate with their children about their online experiences. Together, we can work towards preventing cyberbullying and promoting a culture of kindness and respect online.