Assignment 3: How Can We Stop Bullying/Cyberbullying Now?
Dr. Teresa Wilburn
EDU 505: Contemporary Issues in Education
September 9, 2018
Revised: September 16, 2018
Bullying and cyberbullying are events that are continuously plaguing the world. Although they are very similar they have very distinct differences. They are also ongoing issues in which many students today experience, often when tragic consequences. As an educator, I have established safeguards against bullying in my classroom. In addition, the district in which I am employed has also developed a Zero Policy for bullying. This is a policy that I strongly believe in and will enforce.
Bullying is the use of superior strength or influence to intimidate someone, typically to force him or her to do what one wants. Bullying can also be referred to as the “unwanted, aggressive behavior” among school aged children that involves a real perceived power imbalance. “The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time”. Both kids are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. (Stopbullying)
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include: (1) An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
(2) Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. There are three types of bullying:
1- Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
o inappropriate sexual comments
o threatening to cause harm
2-Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s
reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
o Leaving someone out on purpose,
o Telling other children not to be friends with someone
o Spreading rumors about someone
o Embarrassing someone in public
3-Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
o Taking or breaking someone’s things
o Making mean or rude hand gestures
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. “Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation” (CyberBullying). Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior. The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are:
o Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter
o SMS (Short Message Service) also known as Text Message sent through devices
o Instant Message (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features)
With the prevalence of social media and digital forums, comments, photos, posts, and content shared by individuals can often be viewed by strangers as well as acquaintances. The content an individual shares online – both their personal content as well as any negative, mean, or hurtful content – creates a kind of permanent public record of their views, activities, and behavior. This public record can be thought of as an online reputation, which may be accessible to schools, employers, colleges, clubs, and others who may be researching an individual now or in the future. Cyberbullying can harm the online reputations of everyone involved – not just the person being bullied, but those doing the bullying or participating in it. Cyberbullying has unique concerns in that it can be:
o Persistent – Digital devices offer an ability to immediately and continuously communicate 24 hours a day, so it can be difficult for children experiencing cyberbullying to find relief.
o Permanent – Most information communicated electronically is permanent and public, if not reported and removed. A negative online reputation, including for those who bully, can impact college admissions, employment, and other areas of life.
o Hard to Notice – Because teachers and parents may not overhear or see cyberbullying taking place, it is harder to recognize.
A difference between bullying and cyberbullying is that cyberbullying can be done anonymously. Cyber bullying may be dangerous and a little more difficult to prevent right now, but that’s exactly why we should take this seriously and combat these forms of bullying together. As students, parents, teachers and school administrators, it is important to have open paths of communication with everyone and to continue talking about how to prevent cyber bullying from happening.
While traditional bullying is done face to face, that is, the victim knows the person that is bullying him, in cyber-bullying, the bully can hide his identity which makes him bolder and able to say and do more destructive things to the victim.
Aside from this, any humiliating and false things being said about the victim is read and seen by thousands of people who are using the Internet. “Cyber-bullying has a more damaging and longer lasting effect on the victim than traditional bullying. While cyber-bullying can be avoided by changing phone numbers and email addresses and avoiding certain chat rooms, if the bully chooses to publish humiliating and false statements about the victim at forums and websites, there is nothing that can be done to prevent it from being read and seen by Internet users once it has been posted” (Difference).
Many teen suicides have been attributed to bullying, and with the advent of cyber-bullying, the number of suicides due to bullying has alarmingly increased. It is easier to prevent traditional bullying than cyber-bullying. In traditional bullying, once the victim is home, he is already safe from the bullies, but cyber-bullying can happen even at home because the victim will still use his phone and computer at home.
Talking and teaching about bullying through everyday opportunities is the best way to make it clear that bullying is never ok. Talking about bullying means it can’t be hidden or overlooked in the busy school or family day. Conversations provide opportunities for students to raise issues that adults may not have noticed, and to discuss concerns before they become long-term and entrenched.
Working in the classroom requires selecting appropriate teaching resources and a pedagogical approach that incorporates critical thinking and reflection, scaffolded questioning, and strategies for responding promptly to any personal disclosures. “Teaching about bullying is ideally part of a comprehensive safe schools curriculum. Learning about feelings, social interaction, diversity, social structures, discrimination, justice, power and conflict provide opportunities to explore the issue of bullying, why it happens and how to prevent it” (Teaching).
“Difference Between Bullying and Cyberbullying” Retrieved from
http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/culture-miscellaneous/difference-between-bullying-and-cyber-bullying/ on September 9, 2018.
“Teaching About Bullying”. Retrieved from
https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/TeachingAboutBullying on September 9, 2018.
“What is Bullying?” Retrieved from https://www.stopbullying.gov on September 9, 2018.
“What is Cyberbullying?” Retrieved from https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is- it/index.html on September 9, 2018.