With the new school year now upon us, LICC wanted to share some information on a serious issue that’s happening right here on Long Island: cyber bullying. While most of us have heard the term before, not everyone knows what this troubling new trend is all about. Cyber bullying is essentially any type of bullying that happens using computers, cell phones, or any other electronic devices. As StopBullying.gov reports, “Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.”
Where traditional bullying is typically limited to the locker room or the school bus, cyber bullying is even more damaging, as it can happen anywhere and at any time — even at home. According to i-SAFE America, 42% of young people have been bullied online.
Here’s what you can do if you are being threatened or cyber bullied:
- Let your parents know so they can try to stop the bullying.
- Save the messages and pictures as evidence.
- Try to identify the cyber bully.
- If the cyber bully is someone from your school, make your school administrators aware of the problem.
- Ignore the offender and contact an adult immediately.
- Never engage with the person who is threatening you as that is only encouragement for the behaviors to continue.
- Ask an adult to contact the police if the cyber bullying involves threats of violence, obscene or harassing phone calls or text messages, harassment, stalking or hate crimes.
- Use built-in measures on certain websites, such as ignoring or reporting someone else.
- If the cyber bullying is done via e-mail or cell phone from a particular account, you can block future messages from that account.
- Call Long Island Crisis Center 24/7 at 516-679-1111 or chat live to discuss your feelings, or speak to your school counselor.
What adults can do about cyber bullying:
- Keep your home computer in plain view.
- Talk regularly with your children about their online activities.
- Talk specifically about cyber bullying and encourage your children to come to you if they feel victimized.
- Explain the harm involved in cyber bullying someone else, and outline your expectations for responsible online behavior and the consequences for inappropriate behavior.
- Consider installing parental control software and tracking programs.
Bring Our Cyber Bullying Workshop to Your School
Did you know that Long Island Crisis Center offers community education workshops through our Building Healthy Lives Through Education program? Workshops offered include Anger Management, Suicide Prevention, Understanding Self-Injury, and Cyber Bullying Awareness. For more information, please contact Laura Campbell at (516) 826-0244 or email [email protected]