By Beth Cassidy
In the past, bullying occurred in places such as the school playground.
But these days, some young people fall victim to a more sinister type of abuse: cyberbullying.
Using different types of technology, young people can now be subjected to a world of virtual taunting and harassment.
To help protect young people, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre has asked social networking site Facebook to install a panic button on every page of its site which would allow users to report abuse immediately.
Start a discussion with young people about cyberbullying. Are young people aware of what it is? Discuss what it might involve. Cyberbullying is defined as a young person bullying another young person using technology such as text messages, social networking sites, chat rooms or emails. Writing nasty comments about someone on their Facebook page, sending threatening or Cybermentors offer support to victims of bullying abusive texts and writing intimidating emails are all forms of cyberbullying. Some cyberbullies have even created online hate groups about a young person and invited their peers to join.
Have young people ever been victims of cyberbullying? How did they feel? Did they talk to anyone about it? Cyberbullying is particularly nasty because the bullies can get to their victim without even being in the same room, making it more difficult to escape or track down the culprits. Discuss why teenagers being cyberbullied may feel worried about going to school. How might they feel? Paranoid? Anxious? Suicidal?
Discuss what measures young people can take to protect themselves from cyberbullying. Do young people think a panic button on sites such as Facebook is a good idea? Will it make young people feel more secure online? Talk about whether cyberbullying should be discussed in school lessons. Do young people think more awareness would help stamp out cyberbullying? What would young people do if they experienced cyberbullying? How would they advise a friend who was being bullied online?
As with any type of bullying, it’s important that young people tell someone they trust Cyberbullying is serious. Young people can do their bit by keeping an eye on friends and talking to them if they see any signs of cyberbullying. Confidential website services such as Beatbullying’s CyberMentors give young people the opportunity to talk to someone their own age, rather than an adult. Consider how this could empower young people to speak out about bullying.
Source: Cassidy, B. (2010, April 27). How does cyberbullying affect the lives of young people? Children & Young People Now, 22.
Related Online Continuing Education Courses:
Bullying Prevention: Raising Strong Kids by Responding to Hurtful & Harmful Behavior is a 3-hour online CE course. This video course starts with a thoughtful definition of “bullying” and goes on to illustrate the functional roles of the three participant groups: the targeted individuals, the bullies, and the bystanders. The speaker discusses the concepts of resiliency, empathy, and growth/fixed mindsets, and considers the pros and cons of alternative responses to harmful behavior. Included also are an examination of the utility of zero tolerance policies and a variety of adult responses when becoming aware of bullying behavior. The speaker utilizes multiple examples and scenarios to propose strategies and techniques intended to offer connection, support and reframing to targeted individuals, motivation to change in the form of progressive, escalating consequences to bullies, and multiple intervention options to bystanders. Further segments discuss ways in which schools can create safe, pro-social climates.
Electronic Media and Youth Violence is a 1-hour online CE course. This course, based on the publication Electronic Media and Youth Violence: A CDC Issue Brief for Educators and Caregivers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, focuses on the phenomena of electronic aggression. Electronic aggression is defined as any kind of harassment or bullying that occurs through email, chat rooms, instant messaging, websites, blogs, or text messaging. The brief summarizes what is known about young people and electronic aggression, provides strategies for addressing the issue with young people, and discusses the implications for school staff, mental health professionals, parents and caregivers.
Building Resilience in your Young Client is a 3-hour online CE course. It has long been observed that there are certain children who experience better outcomes than others who are subjected to similar adversities, and a significant amount of literature has been devoted to the question of why this disparity exists. Research has largely focused on what has been termed “resilience.” Health professionals are treating an increasing number of children who have difficulty coping with 21st century everyday life. Issues that are hard to deal with include excessive pressure to succeed in school, bullying, divorce, or even abuse at home. This course provides a working definition of resilience and descriptions of the characteristics that may be associated with better outcomes for children who confront adversity in their lives. It also identifies particular groups of children – most notably those with developmental challenges and learning disabilities – who are most likely to benefit from resilience training. The bulk of the course – presented in two sections – offers a wide variety of resilience interventions that can be used in therapy, school, and home settings.
Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for all programs and content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by theTexas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.