When it comes to cyber bullying, it’s a whole different ballgame to what most people view as ‘traditional bullying’. Cyber bullying is sneaky and hard to spot, which means that it can often go undetected for long periods of time. It also means that schools often don’t know how to deal with it and aren’t properly trained in what cyber bullying even is. Here at Sigma Digital Marketing, we want to raise awareness of the danger of children being online and support schools in spotting and dealing with cyber bullying.
Does your School have Measures in Place?
Just as with verbal and physical forms of bullying, all schools should have systems in place for cyber bullying prevention. From anti cyber bullying training to awareness on e-safety, every school should be taking an active approach on the matter. No child should have to carry the burden of cyber bullying alone so it’s important they have the right support available. Here are some ways in which your school should be dealing with cyber bullying.
1) Social Media Guides
The UK’s Council for Child Internet Safety has released two social media guides in co-ordination with the Government’s anti cyber bullying training programmes. These can help teachers, pupils and parents to understand the dangers of cyber bullying and the importance of e-safety. Make these guides readily available at your school.
2) Filters and Monitors
As a school, you should have software in place to filter and monitor all of your pupils’ online activity. As a matter of E-safety, all inappropriate websites should be blocked and some schools may want to ban social media platforms that could facilitate cyber bullying. However, be warned that this won’t eradicate it from your school grounds; devices such as mobile phones are out of your control.
3) Readily Available Support
Each child will need different support when it comes to cyber bullying. Some will be willing to speak to teachers and some will be more hesitant, so you need to have a variety of ways that your pupils can let someone know they’re suffering. You can have private, one-to-one support available, lunch time groups where children who are being bullied can seek safety and support amongst other children and a type of buddy system, in which children are taught to look out for one another.
4) Parent Education Sessions
Victims of cyber bullying carry their suffering with them 24/7, not just in school, so it’s important those at home are educated too in e-safety and anti cyber bullying training. Run sessions where staff and parents can work together on understanding cyber bullying and look towards methods of prevention, detection and support.
5) Teach the Children
Make sure all your pupils know exactly what cyber bullying is and the devastating impacts it can have. It’s important to remember that the children are at the centre of this and, whilst educating parents and staff is crucial, it’s also vital you don’t forget the kids.
It can be hard to know how to deal with cyber bullying, whether you’re a teacher, parent or victim, but it’s important we talk about it and don’t let anyone suffer along. If you’d like to learn more about cyber bullying and its prevention, get in touch with Sigma Digital today.
If you need advice or help with dealing with your own experiences, you can call Childline on 0800 1111, the Samaritans on 116 123, or search ‘Anti bullying helpline’ to the find the service that’s right for you.
Alternatively I am available for School bookings to Teacher Training, Parent training and Children’s training Please email [email protected] for further details.