In the article, The Newest Breed of Bully, The Cyberbully, the author talks about strategies to protect your children from cyberbullies. It was a really interesting article about how cyberbullying is happening and what you can do if it happens but it also talks about the difficulties law enforcement faces in trying to stop it.
Photo by ichangedmyname
Photo by ichangedmyname
The other night there was a discussion on Plurk by Lisa who mentioned that her daughter called mom to come pick her up because some girls were being mean to her. Apparently these girls have been bullying her even at school but the daughter didn’t think she was being bullied.
This made me wonder that even though we talk about bullying in general and even cyberbullying, maybe our students do not realize that they are being bullied. Or maybe they see it as a sign of weakness to admit to being bullied. I know when people talk about criminal domestic violence or date violence, many times the victims do not want to admit that they are being abused. I feel that our students feel the same way when they are being bullied and maybe we should talk more about how to know the difference from actions that are just irritating to actions that constitute bullying. We spend so much time teaching our young children not to tattle on each other, that maybe we have done too good a job. Now is the time to teach our students the difference between tattling and stopping bullying.
I also think we need to do more about the bullies. Sometimes just giving consequences to the bully may not be enough and just notifying parents that their child is bullying others may not be enough. Maybe we need to teach parents how to talk to their children about appropriate behavior and consequences to their children. Parents of the bullies need to think about consequences they should give to their children when they act this way. When I learned to drive, I knew that if I got a speeding ticket, I would lose the privilege of driving the car plus pay any increase in insurance when I got the privilege back. When a child uses a computer or a cell phone to bully someone else, this privilege should be taken away. I have seen too many times that the child gets put on restrictions and can’t go anywhere but they don’t lose the privilege of using the computer or the phone and the bullying continues. Make the punishment fit the crime.
I also do not think these lessons should be a one time shot in the dark kind of lessons. I feel that these should be integrated throughout the year in our classes. The more that bullying of any kind is brought out to the open, the less power it has over others. I also feel that parents need to take a firmer stand and maybe parent-teacher organizations could help with educating parents on this.
What do you think? Do you have any suggestions?