Cyber Bullying Facts: 5 Ways to Prevent Cyber Bullying

According to the National Crime Prevention Association, cyber bullying happens when teens use the Internet, cell phones, or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.
More than 50% of all American teens have been a victim of cyber bullying so it is imperative that students, parents, and educators are aware of ways to stop it.
1) Do Not Participate - This may sound like common sense but many teens do not realize that they are guilty of cyber bullying by commenting on or sharing offending text or pictures, even if they were not the ones who originally started the bullying. Make sure your kids or students know that they should refuse to take part in these actions.
2) Block the Cyber Bully - Most social networking websites, cell phones, and other messaging applications have functions that will allow a user to block messages or other types of communication from specific individuals. It is possible (and quite easy) for dedicated bullies to create fake profiles and accounts to get around certain blocks however.
3) Direct Action - Rather than immediately tell an adult about an instance of cyber bullying, students can also choose to ask the bully to stop directly. Sometimes this form of direct communication can be very effective, but its success also depends highly on other variables including personalities, relationships, and environment.
4) Tell An Adult - One of the tougher actions for a teenage child to take is telling an adult when a friend or classmate is being bullied. Many students are afraid of the possible retaliation by peers when thought of as a 'tattle-tale'. If an issue is brought up by a student, educators or officials should do their best to protect the anonymity of the whistle blower.
5) Preventative or Proactive Education - There are not a whole lot of teenagers who will sit down at their computer and research cyber bullying. That means it is crucial that parents and educators take a proactive approach to educating kids about cyber bullying. Teach them ways to identify, prevent, and report cyber bullying and let them know that they should feel safe reporting instances of bullying to a trusted adult.
Children are affected every day by cyber bullying and some have even gone as far as to take their own lives because of it. Please share this information with your children or students.
Tell them this rule of thumb: If they wouldn't say it in person, they shouldn't say it online.
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