What is Cyber Bullying?
Cyber bullying is the use of a mobile device or the Internet to send or post a threatening, harassing, or embarrassing message (or image) to another. These messages are sent with the intent of harming or hurting another person and can yield many consequences.
Cyber Bullying Statistics
Presented here are the anonymous answers of thousands of students surveyed nationwide through i-SAFE's National Assessment Center. Listed below are high school students' answers to three important questions.
Do you say mean or hurtful things to people on the Internet?
Yes - 47%
No - 50%
I don't go online - 3%
Do people on the Internet say mean or hurtful things about yourself or others?
Yes - 55%
No - 42%
I don't go online - 3%
When someone is bullying you online (insulting, threatening, embarrassing, or harassing you), what do you do?
While we all trust our friends, letting others use our accounts does not let us monitor what is being said. A message sent innocently by a friend from your account or your phone can easily be misunderstood. If we didn't send the message, we may not be able to defend it.
Everything you share in privacy can become public.
No matter how safe or private information may seem, one wrong click on someone's name or a send button can allow information to spread rapidly to unexpected recipients. Remember, everything you send over the Internet or over a phone can become public information.
Don't respond to negative messages.
If someone sends you a message you dislike, let them know without insult, and if it's not a friend, don't respond at all. Responding to an insulting or disrespectful message with further insult does nothing to fix a problem, and may only make things worse.
Save harassing and hurtful messages as evidence.
If you don't respond to a bully – when a response may be what they are looking for – the bullying or hurtful messages may stop. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Saving harassing and hurtful messages may assist you in getting help with the situation. You can use these messages to provide information to school personnel, or other trusted adults, that can help in finding a remedy to the situation.
We all know we can't help others until we help ourselves. Respect yourself enough to know that you do not need to “listen” to what a bully has to say. If need be, block them from your phone or social network. You do not have to “feed into trash-talk” from anyone!
Turn off technology at night.
It is easy to stay “plugged in” to our technologies 24 hours a day and 7 days a week; however, we all need a chance to kick back and unwind. Every human being needs ample sleep and rest to function at 100%. Remember, we can always check our messages when we wake up and after a good night's rest, but for the most part, we do not need to reply to messages in the middle of the night. Give yourself a break; get some well-deserved rest!
Step up! Help a friend or peer.
Often, we hear over the news or on the radio of drastic incidents where students have severely hurt or scarred others through bullying. Be a leader, and don't stand by if you see someone getting hurt. As you'd want someone to help you, step up and inform a trusted adult of any bullying you witness. This site offers you a place to step up and voice your concerns without feeling like a “snitch.” Help out a peer or friend by checking out the “How to Get Help” link.
How to get help
Step up and Help a Friend
You are not a "snitch" if you step up to help a friend or peer that is in danger. How would you feel if you were in trouble and no one stepped up to help you? Remember, your friends may need your strength and leadership to tackle a problem; don't let them down.
You may choose to remain anonymous in your email or offer your name so the necessary school officials can contact you.
Please offer the name(s) of individual(s) that may benefit from help, and briefly explain the situation.
Please see examples of referrals, below.
I am a 10th grader at M-A and have seen Student A say some horrible things to Student B. I know Student B is really worried about the situation. Could you please check in with Student A and Student B? Anonymous.
I have a Facebook account, and someone has been calling me insulting names. Yesterday, I received two texts from a restricted number that used the same comments as those on Facebook. I'm hoping to speak with someone at M-A to see how I can address this problem. Student A, Junior.
I was on Formspring the other day, and things got really crazy. Three people started threatening to start a fight after school. The one is Student C. I don't know the names of the other students, but would like to talk to someone about it. Thank you, Student D, Senior.