What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is when a child, preteen or teen uses the internet, cell phones, video games, or other technology devices to harass, torment, humiliate or embarrass another child, preteen or teen. Cyberbullies are often known to the victims, but they can also be anonymous online users. Bullying includes harassment, spreading rumors, disclosing personal information and impersonation. The bullying can be unrelenting as it can occur all times of the day and night through mediums such as:
- Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- Instant Messaging and Text messaging
- Chat rooms and blogs
- Online games
What is the scope of the problem?
According to NoBullying.com cyberbullying is extensive.
Baltimore County Public Schools Policy
BCPS regards cyberbullying as a very serious matter. From the student handbook:
- Bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, and intimidation are strictly prohibited by federal law and will not be tolerated in Baltimore County Public Schools (Board of Education Policy and Superintendent’s Rule 5580).
- Students may report bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, or intimidation without fear of harmful consequences. Students, parents, close adult relatives, and/or staff may complete a Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Reporting Form. Completed forms should be given to the principal of the school or the principal’s designee.
What can be done?
- Encourage children to report incidents of cyberbullying. Explain that they will not be punished for reporting incidents. Remind them to save the evidence.
- Reassure victims that they are not to be blamed. Consider professional help if the safety or welfare of the person is at risk.
- Explain the danger of sharing information on social media.
- Remind children to not share passwords with friends.
- Set expectations for social media use.
Tip Sheet: Elementary School
Tip Sheet: Middle and High School
Cyberbullying Laws and Legislation
Cyberbullying Prevention Tips
5 Ways to Stop Cyberbullies
Texting Tips for Parents