Cyber bullying has become an increased problem among young people particularly between 9-14 years old.
Bullying in the past was generally understood to be a verbal or physical altercation between a bully and a victim and usually thought to be handled between kids. Technology has bought about an entirely new method of bullying and it requires immediate adult or parental interference.
Cyber-bullying is when someone repeatedly harasses, mistreats, or makes fun of another person online or while using cell phones or other electronic devices.
Cyber-bullies come in all shapes and sizes. Because people who cyber-bully can hide behind the anonymity, they are often physically weak and socially awkward. Often, they are the victims of traditional bullying who turn to cyber-bullying to get revenge.
Cyber-bullying is just as bad if not worse than traditional forms of bullying.
Dangerous Effect of Cyber-Bullying
- Technology is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: there is no escape
- Cyber-bullying can target a large audience
- Can be more harsh—empowerment to say things without seeing a reaction—“keyboard courage”
- Bullies can remain anonymous providing more opportunity for harassment and the hope of not getting caught
- Bullies can be anyone from any social status
- Leads to emotional and psychological pain, depression, low self-esteem, high anxiety, suicide, homicide
- Affects students’ participation in, and success at school
Cyber-Bullying - What Should A Parent Do?
- Educate your children not to reply to messages—block the sender
- Keep a copy of the messages for a report
- Advise the school and/or police
- Contact the Internet Service Provider (ISP)
- Websites have links or buttons where inappropriate content can be reported
- Consider the recommended or lawful age to have a social network account—often this is 13; place computer in common room of home
Please note that every school is assigned a School Liaison Officer by the Hamilton Police Service.
Cyber bullying Fact Sheet (405 KB)
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