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How to Stop Cyberbullying at your School? 5 Proactive Steps that Actually Work

How to Stop Cyberbullying at your School

Table of Contents

Cyberbullying: The Ongoing Crisis Plaguing Schools Everywhere

‘Being ‘the different kid’ is no fun. You feel like an outsider. Most kids either stare at you or ignore you. You’re lonely. And worst of all, you get bullied and no one stands up for you!’

For years we’ve been seeing heart-breaking bullying stories in the news. We get all worked up at the time. Rally up behind the bullied kid. Then our fervor gradually dies out. Until a new story comes along.

What is Cyberbullying or ‘Online Bullying’?

Over the past few years, bullying has evolved from the classic playground intimidation or ”cornering” to what’s now known as cyberbullying. 

Cyberbullying, online bullying, or cyber harassment are all terms that describe the use of technology to taunt, threaten, annoy, or target another person.

According to CompariTech, Cyberbullying is on the rise worldwide.

Online anonymity makes bullies more vicious because they believe they can’t be traced or reprimanded. Which makes cyberbullying one of the most common forms of bullying nowadays.

How big is the problem?

“Cyberbullies can hide behind a mask of anonymity online and do not need direct physical access to their victims to do unimaginable harm.” —  Inspirational speaker, writer and community leader Anna Maria Chavez.

A Pew Research study found that a majority of U.S. teens (59%) experienced some form of cyberbullying. Whereby, a particularly high 58% expressed criticism of teachers’ efforts to address online harassment and cyberbullying.

Additionally, One in three parents worldwide (33%) report knowing a child who had been cyberbullied, a percentage that’s increasing globally since 2011 according to Ipsos.

 The Effect of Cyberbullying on Students

Just like face-to-face bullying, cyberbullying can have destructive effects, including:

  1. Drops in school grades and/or loss of interest in education.
  2. Low self-esteem.
  3. Depression.
  4. Hostile behavior.
  5. Suicidal tendencies (Cyberbullying victims under 25 are more than twice as likely to self-harm and develop suicidal tendencies, according to a study).

Cyberbullying has effects beyond self-harm as well. A Javelin Research explains that children who are cyberbullied are 9 times more likely to fall victim to identity fraud.

What Can Your School Do to Stop Cyberbullying? 

“School administrators can’t say it’s up to the parents. Parents can’t say it’s up to the teachers. Teachers can’t say it’s not their job. And kids can’t say, “I was too afraid to tell.” Every single one of us has to play our role if we’re serious about putting an end to the madness.” – Megan Kelley Hall, Author of Dear Bully.

As a cybersecurity company, we believe that we too have a part to play. That’s why we carefully curated the following 5 effective steps to help schools address cyberbullying (and bullying) from its root.

5 Proactive Steps to Stop Cyberbullying at Your School


1. Spot Cyberbullying Using Anti Bullying Tools

The trickiest thing about cyberbullying is that it’s ‘Hard to Notice’.

Teachers may not overhear it or see it taking place.

According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, ‘an average of 28% of teens report being cyberbullied’. Yet, there are many others who never even report it.

The good news is that your school can actually monitor and control cyberbullying using the right student monitoring tools like GAT:

A. GAT Shield for Education: Protect your students by monitoring all browser-based activity. Set up real-time alerting for inappropriate content and cyberbullying keywords in all locations, at all times.

GAT Shield also offers Chromebook monitoring which greatly helps in addressing cyberbullying activities carried out using school-owned Chromebooks.

B. GAT+ for Education: Audit, analyze and report on all YouTube channels and videos your students are uploading and creating with the option to delete any unauthorized channel.

You can also disable Chat whenever you feel that it’s being used as a cyberbullying tool at your school.

2. Teach Students about Cybersecurity and Being Safe Online

Raising students’ awareness about cybersecurity is imperative today, especially when they spend most of their time online.

Cybersecurity awareness sessions yield remarkable results in tackling issues like cyberbullying and online safety.

Consider offering them on a regular basis to tackle major things like how to spot, report and deal with cyberbullying the right way.

These sessions should ideally provide students with a safe space to speak up, share their cyberbullying stories and get help.

 Cybersecurity and Being Safe Online

3. Understand Why Bullies Do it

Most often bullies lose sight of the consequences of their actions. They can’t explain why they do it because they usually don’t think much about it. It’s our job to make them do it.

Helping kids move past outside appearance and empathise with each other on the inside is one of the first steps towards addressing bullying — Anti-bullying speaker, David Flood,

Teaching kids about empathy, kindness, and inclusion early on can be one of the most effective ways to address bullying and promote a healthier school environment.

That can be incorporated into the curriculum through booksgroup activities, or inviting Anti Bullying speakers (depending on every age and grade).

4. Empower Bullied Kids to Cope Right

We’ve been taught that ignoring bullies is the best way to strip them of their power, and now we pass this advice on to our kids. However, we all know that executing this strategy isn’t always simple, whether in the physical world or online.

It is of utmost importance to let bullied children know that the school stands by them. They need to be assured that help is available to them – a secure haven they can turn to and a wise confidant they can trust.

5. Teach kids to recognize bullying

You might be surprised by how often a child or teenager is unknowingly subjected to bullying by someone they consider a friend.

This form of bullying is among the most perilous, as the victim believes their “bully” is someone they can rely on, leaving a more profound emotional wound.

Additionally, there are times when kids jest or taunt others in hurtful ways without realizing that their behavior qualifies as bullying.

Bullying awareness campaigns are essential components of your school’s anti-bullying initiatives.

It is vital to educate students about identifying instances of cyberbullying, exploitation, manipulation, and other forms of harm, whether they are the recipients or the perpetrators.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this inspiring message by Motivational Education Speaker, Jeremy Anderson on inclusion ‘’It’s time to bring around a new culture in schools.’’

Audit. Manage. Protect.

Discover how Management & Security Services can help you with deeper insight and on-call, personalized assistance.

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