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Stop Cyberbullying Resource Guide



Why preventing cyberbullying is important?
While bullying is nothing new, today's kids have found another, often more anonymous way, to be cruel to each other: cyberbullying. Hiding behind their cell phone or computer screens, kids are now humiliating and harassing each other in ways most of their parents didn't have to deal with. As Common Sense, a national not-for-profit that provides digital citizenship curriculum to schools in New York City and across the country says, "this type of bullying is especially disturbing because it is constant, pervasive, and very, very public."

Whether it's through a fake social media account, hurtful online comments or cruel text messages, cyberbullying doesn't stop when a child leaves the classroom.

A recent study done by Microsoft's Truthyworthy Computing division found that:

* 90% of parents are familiar with cyberbullying; 73% are either very or somewhat concerned about it.
* 2 in 5 parents report their child has been involved in a cyberbullying incident; 1 in 4 educators have been cyber-harassment victims.
*  73% of educators are familiar with the issue and 76% believe cyberbullying is a very or somewhat serious problem at their school.
* Educators consider cyberbullying (76%) as big an issue as smoking (75%) and drugs (75%).

Common Sense adds that "the most commonly experienced form of cyberbullying
is when someone takes a private email, IM, or text message and forwards it to someone
else or posts the communication publicly.

*38% of girls online report being bullied, compared with 26% of online boys.
* Nearly 4 in 10 social network users (39%) have been cyberbullied, compared with 22% of online teens who do not use social networks (all from
Pew, 2007).

So what can you do?

Preventive tips for parents to protect their child against cyberbullying:

1. Make sure you check the history on your child's computer often, so you can see what sites your child is visiting.
2. Set up Google alerts for your child's name to stay informed about what others are saying about him or her.
3. Make sure you child's computer is in a public place, so you can see what your child is doing online.
4. Check your child's status updates regularly
5. Talk to your child against using applications like Formspring or Honesty Boxes on Facebook that allow for anonymous posting.
6. Read the terms and conditions about the websites and social media your kids regularly use (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter) and report any foul play immediately. The sites will usually take action against the perpetrators' accounts.
7. Tell your kids that you will take away their cell phones if they abuse their text messaging privilege.
8. Let your kids know that all the information they post online -- can have ramifications later (college applications, job offers).

From Facebook

What to do if your child has been cyberbullied:

1. Act immediately by letting them know you can and will help.
2. Acknowledge the pain. Affirm what happened isn’t right and that they’re not at fault.
3. Tell your kids not to respond or retaliate, but save any evidence for authorities.
4. Block anyone whose behavior is inappropriate or threatening.
5. Report the problem. Consider reporting fellow students to the school. Report bullying on a website where the abuse occurred. (e.g. in Microsoft services or software look for a report 
6. Visit http://www.athinline.org/take-control for a list of hotlines and organizations to call in case of a problem

From: Microsoft

Digital Citizen tips for kids 
1. The Internet’s not written in pencil. It’s written in pen. What
teens do online spreads fast and lasts long. Remind them to think
before they post.
2. Nothing is as private as they think. Anything teens say or do can
be copied, pasted, and sent to gazillions of people in a heartbeat.
Make sure kids use privacy settings and that they understand that
the best way to protect their secrets is not to post personal stuff.
3. Kindness counts. The anonymity of the digital world can lead kids
to say and do things they wouldn’t in person. Encourage them to
communicate kindly, stand up for others, and build positive online
relationships rooted in respect.
4. Digital cheating is still cheating. Right and wrong extend to
online and mobile life. Impart your values, and tell kids not to
plagiarize, download illegally, or use technology to cheat in school.
5. Embrace their world. None of us wants technology to isolate us
from our kids. Do some homework, and ask them to share the sites
they visit, the songs they download, the gadgets they love. It’s up to
us to join the fun and help them seize the potential.

From Common Sense Media

Watch NYC Cyber Bullying Summit
Catch the entire NYC Cyber Bullying Summit on Time Warner Cable Video On Demand. All you have to do is tune your remote to LVOD New York City On Demand channel 1111. Then scroll over to “Education” and the Cyber Bullying selection will appear. Then select it and the program will begin.

Get involved with the New York City Council anti-cyberbullying efforts:

Watch a video recording on your computer of the New York City Council's Cyberbullying Summit: here.

For testimonials from youth and adults who have dealt with cyberbullying check out our Youtube channel.

Get involved. Take the pledge not to cyberbully or be a silent bystander. "Like" our Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/stopcybullying 

Tools and resources from partner organizations:

  • http://www.stopbullying.gov/topics/cyberbullying/: The White House's guide to preventing cyberbullying
  • http:www.commonsense.org: Advice for families in a 24/7 media world.
  • http://www.athinline.org/take-control: One stop shop for young people struggling with digital abuse / cyberbullying issues – links to helplines, how-tos and ways to become an advocate)
  • http://grownups.athinline.org: Tips for parents and educators on how to use A THIN LINE as a teaching/talking tool)
  • http://draw.athinline.org: Interactive visualization capturing all the ways young people are taking action across the country to stop the spread of digital abuse)
  • http://nypeace.org/: The New York Peace Institute is committed to promoting peace in our communities. Whether a dispute involves two people, dozens of people, or several groups, they can help.