What is Bullying? Legal Definition: “A student is being bullied or victimized when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more students.” Bullying is emotional or physical abuse • Deliberate • Repeated • Power Imbalance (real or perceived) • Will not stop without intervention
Bullying/Cyberbullying Laws • http://www.cyberbullying.us/Bullying_and_Cyberbullying_Laws.pdf List of Laws by State:
Types of Bullying • Physical: Hitting, kicking, shoving, spitting, “horseplay” • Verbal: Taunting, teasing, racial slurs, verbal harassment, threatening and obscene gestures. • Relational: Purposely excluding someone from groups and clubs (spreading rumors, gossiping) • Cyber-bullying: Use of technology to achieve bullying (texts, instant messages, e-mail, Facebook, social gaming sites, YouTube)
Types of Cyberbullying • Flaming: Angry, Rude Arguments • Harassment: Repeatedly sending offensive messages • Denigration: “Dissing” someone online by spreading rumors or posting false information • Outing and Trickery: Disseminating intimate private information or talking someone into disclosing private information, which is then disseminated • Impersonation: Pretending to be someone else and posting material to damage that person’s reputation • Exclusion: Intentionally excluding someone from an online group • Cyberstalking: Creating fear by repeatedly sending offensive messages and engaging in other harmful online activities
The Bully • Craves attention • Does not see other people’s side • Hurts others when adults are not watching • Blames & criticizes others to cover up their own faults • A possible sign of other serious antisocial/violent behavior • Five times more likely to have a criminal record by age 24 as compared to non-bullies
The Bully • Watches for the adult’s / teacher’s reactions to small transgressions and escalates based on that reaction.
The Target - natural responses to trauma • FIGHT • Becomes aggressive, unreasonable • Unexplained bruises, ripped clothing • Carries a weapon, seeks revenge • FLIGHT • School phobia: • Truancy, skipping class • Anxiety, stomach aches, panic attacks • Avoids certain areas of the school (cafe, bathroom, gym) • FREEZE • Flat affect, depression • Refuses to talk about what is wrong • School work declines
The Target - natural responses to trauma • SUBMISSION • Trouble getting to sleep at night, crying • Becomes withdrawn, lacking confidence • Asking for money, starting to steal (to pay bully) • Considers suicide (46% vs. 14.5% of non-bullied students) † • Attempts suicide (29% of targets vs. 6.9% of non-bullied students) † † 2007 US Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance • ATTACH • Clinging to authority figures (hanging out in the office, library, etc)
The Bystander • Doesn’t intervene due to: • Fear of becoming the next target • Doesn’t know what to do • Feels powerless / doesn’t want to make it worse • Doesn’t report due to: • Fear of being labeled a “snitch” • Feeling that the teachers/administrators are powerless or don’t care • Are drawn into bullying behavior by group pressure • Feel unsafe, guilty, helpless • Disbursement of Responsibility
Why Students are Targeted • Race • Religion • Sexual Orientation • Physical Attributes • Mental Abilities • National Origin Other reasons… New to school Youngest in Class Socio-Economic (rich / poor) Trauma
Students with Disabilities: Risk Factors for Bullying • Students with disabilities may: • Be perceived as easy targets • Attract negative attention • Misread social cues and intentions • Unintentionally provoke others • Have difficulty developing peer support • Have difficulty recognizing, responding • to and reporting bullying
How is Cyberbullying different? • The bully can remain anonymous • The bully cannot see the victim’s reaction • Does not recognize the harm they are doing • Their actions can “go viral” • The perception is that everyone knows about it • Adults may not have the technical skills to monitor online behavior • It slips through the cracks • Whose jurisdiction is it?
Warning signs of Cyberbullying • The Target: • Unexpectedly stops using the computer or cell phone • Crying for no reason • Appears jumpy when a text or email comes through • Decreased interested in school and activities • Frustrated or angry after using cell/computer • Avoids talking about their online activity • Withdrawing from others • Lack of concentration, grades drop
Warning signs of Cyberbullying • The Bully: • Anger / aggression • Attempts to hide online activity, avoids talking about it • Quickly switches screens or closes programs when someone walks by • Gets upset if computer/cell privileges are restricted • Appears to be using multiple accounts (or an account that is not their own)
Cyberbully advice for parents: • Monitor your child's online activities (actively or by using tracking software) • Talk to you children about the risks of using social networking sites, chat rooms, etc. • What they write, post, upload is no longer theirs, it never goes away • Talk about what is appropriate online behavior • Create an internet/cell use contract with your child
Cyberbully advice for parents: • Save and print evidence of cyberbullying • Unfriend, block, and report the offender • Ask for a meeting with school administrators • Contact the parent(s) of the offender • Work with the ISP, Cell Phone Company, or Content Provider to investigate and remove offensive material • Contact school administration immediately if aware of a threat
Tier 1: bullying prevention • Survey the current school culture/climate • Establish /promote a positive school culture • Praise teamwork, inclusion, positive language • Discuss internet safety & netiquette throughout the year • Avoid traditional social networking sites in the classroom, choose sites like http://youthvoices.net instead • Address bullying in general whenever it occurs • “We don’t use that word in this class / school.” • “I am not comfortable with name calling, its not ok here” • Be familiar with your school/district bullying policy
Tier 1: bullying prevention • Awareness Campaigns • Anti-bullying rallies • Poster campaigns • Anti-bullying pledge • Student created public service announcements • Thinking it Through activity • Students discuss their experiences with cyber bullying and ways to prevent it • Drama lesson plan • Students create and act out a play centered around bullying
Tier 1: bullying prevention • Access local resources • The Attic: LBGTQ organization in Philadelphia that provides free assemblies for students • Bentley University: Student group organizes anti-bullying rally and pledge signing • Peer mentoring groups / Newcomer groups
Tier 2: bullying intervention • Act immediately if a student reports being bullied – offer support! • Follow your school/district protocol (report, investigation, parental contact, counseling, reflection/discipline, etc) • Immediately report any threats you are aware of to the administration, police involvement may be required! • Designate yourself a Cyberbully Trustee • Intervene with perpetrators if you observe bullying • Pull them aside, label the behavior, state it must stop
Tier 2: bullying intervention • Empower bystanders • Model and encourage positive behavior • Point out that they would want someone to stand up for them • Ask 1 or 2 students if they notice bullying in your class • Offer one-on-one praise, thank you notes, etc • Assign reflection activities to perpetrators/bystanders • Solution Teams http://www.nobully.com/solutionteam.htm
Tier 3: bullying intervention • For the perpetrator: • Discipline / Police involvement • Counseling • Behavior planning / Monitoring • Alternative programs • Boston: Counseling and Intervention Center (alt. suspension) • Philadelphia: Disciplinary Transfer (alt. school) • For the target: • Counseling • Safety transfer?