Should Schools get Involved in Curbing Cyberbullying?
Title: Should schools get involved in cyber bullying?
Thesis: Cyber bullying affects school going children, yet most of the time, it occurs after school hours. Should the school take an active role in curbing cyber bullying or not. Cyber bullying can only be mitigated when the students, school, family and the state work together with the school to bring an end to the menace.
Cyber bullying has been there since the creation of the mass media. Many people are using the social media sites to bully the others.
- Why should the school get involved in cyber bullying?
- Parents believe that cyber bullying begins at the school level
- Students interact with others in the school set up, thus the school has a vital role
- Increase in cases of school violence and many publicized suicides have made many officials address the issue
- Cyber bullying affects the students’ academic performance
- School administrators feel they are responsible for providing a healthy school climate for students.
- Ways in which schools get involved in curbing cyber bullying
- It provides students with cyber safety information that instructs them on the use of technology
- Cyber bullying has been enacted in the school policies thus students are to adhere to a code of conduct with regard to technology
- Many student leaders have been trained to advocate the negative role of technology and discourage unsafe use
- Schools have tried to improve playground supervision since most of the bullying starts there
- Schools have promoted healthy interactions between students and promote student safety
- The curriculum had been integrated to include social skills to enable students to respond to bullying
- The school has also promoted cyber safety education
- The school has engaged mental professionals to help victims of cyber bullying
- The school has created links with information technology in order to get evidence and monitor their activities
- Lessons about cyber bullying have been integrated into the curriculum
- Why the school should not get involved in cyber bullying
- Cyber bullying does not occur in schools, thus schools cannot monitor the cyber bullying cases
- The school is supposed to promote freedom of speech, as such, cannot prevent students from expressing themselves.
- Schools have a lot to do and cannot take responsibility for the bullying
- Monitoring cyber bullying requires a lot of time which the school does not have
- The school is unable to punish the perpetrators of cyber bullying
- Ways in which the school can integrate the society to stop cyber bullying
Can be done at three levels:
- Student level
- Students should take responsibility for digital reputation
- Students should support victims of cyber bullying
- Students should be taught the importance of changing their passwords
- Family level
- Parents should keep computers in centralized places and have agreed on rules about the use of technology
- Parents should monitor the children’s online activities
- Parents should look for signs of bullying in their children
- Parents should play an active role in the lives of their children
- State level
- The state should come up with laws on cyber bullying
- The state should engage the police department in monitoring student’s activities.
Schools play a major role in stopping cyber bullying. However, the whole society should work together with the school in the fight against the menace.
Cyberbullying is the human action of harming a person through information technology networks, including mobile phones, computers, and other communication gadgets. The cyber bullies can send messages, emails, pictures, and images of someone in social media. Cyberbullying has been there since the creation of the social media sites. It is different from other forms of bullying as it occurs at any time, messages can reach a large audience, and it is difficult to erase the message after it has been sent. The high prevalence of cyberbullying and its effects on academics has prompted many people to look at the role of the school in addressing this issue. The paper seeks to assess the reasons why the school should or should not get involved and how they can get involved.
Why Schools Should Curb Cyberbullying
The school is the center of the child’s life. Although online harassment may take place after school hours and at home, that becomes the main reason why the role of the school in cyber bulling becomes controversial. Some proponents support that the school should be involved, while others do not support.
Those who support that the school should be involved do it for the various reasons. Firstly, parents believe that a lot of cyberbullying begins at the school level. It occurs between the interactions with the students, then it continues elsewhere. Thus, many parents feel that the school should get involved in cyberbullying. Secondly, many people feel that if students interact with others in the school set up, the school definitely has a vital role to play in protecting the students from other students that could harm them. Thirdly, the increase in cases of school violence and the publicized student suicides have made many school officials to have to come up with ways of addressing the issue. Fourthly, it has been noted that cyberbullying greatly affects the students’ academic performance. As such, many students that have been affected by the practice will have lower grades, experience depression, and experience low self-esteem, anxiety, and withdrawal from other students. Lastly, many school administrators feel that they are responsible for providing a healthy school climate for their students. Therefore, the administrators must ensure that the students are safe in their respective schools by establishing policies to mitigate and stop cyberbullying.
Ways in Which Schools Can Help Curb Cyberbullying
Schools have established strategies to control cyberbullying. Firstly, schools have provided the students with cyber safety information that instructs the students about the positive use of technology. The students have been educated about the potential negative effects of posting personal information on the online platforms. Students have also been educated about removing personal information in the online platform. Secondly, bullying has been enacted in the school policies describing how students can report cyberbullying. In the school policies, the school emphasizes the students’ code of conduct with regard to the use of technology. Thirdly, many student leaders are being trained to advocate for negative roles of technology and discourage unsafe use among students. Moreover, schools have tried to improve playground supervision because a great deal of cyber bulling begins on the playground. Furthermore, the school also has a role in ensuring that it promotes healthy interactions between students to promote the students’ safety (Gonchar, 3). As such, the school ensures that it promotes a culture of mutual respect and tolerance in the school by ensuring that students respect each other’s diversities. The school should also supply students with a qualified curriculum that develops their social skills and teaches them effective ways of addressing relational difficulties both online and offline.
The school should also promote cyber safety education, enabling students to understand cyberbullying and how it affects others. The school should also engage mental health professionals to guide the students who have been affected by cyberbullying and teach them cyber ethics. The school should create linkages with the information technology services in order to monitor student activities online and provide evidence of cyberbullying. In addition, the school should survey the school community to ensure that they understand where the students are spending their time online and discover the potential hot spots for cyberbullying. Educators should also teach students the social skills so that they know how to respond to cyberbullying. Lastly, the school should integrate specific lessons in the curriculum about the role played by cyberbullying. As such, it will educate students about cyberbullying, its effects, and what one can do if they happen to be victims.
Why Schools Should not get Involved in Cyberbullying
Many proponents feel that the school cannot get involved in cyberbullying for the following reasons. Firstly, it is usually hard to prove that bullying did occur during school hours. Most of the bullying occurs at night and at home, thus, there is no interaction with the school environment then (Beckman, 10). School officials also argue that they cannot monitor the students’ activities after the school hours. Secondly, at the school level, freedom of speech is supposed to be upheld, and the school officials cannot exceed their authority. As such, students have a right to post anything on the internet. School officials cannot even force a student to take down content they may find offensive on the social media sites. Thirdly, many parents and school officials feel that schools have a lot to do and cannot have full responsibility of protecting the students from cyberbullying. The school has to cover both the curricular and co-curriculum activities and cannot get time to engage in other activities that occur after school hours. Moreover, school officials feel that monitoring of cyberbullying will take most of their time. Indeed, students stay in school for limited hours, which ensures that the school officials cannot monitor the habit. Lastly, schools cannot discipline the perpetrators of cyberbullying because the administration has been forced to balance the student’s constitutional rights and the administration’s power to harass the bullies. The fact that educators lack the ability to punish students found guilty of cyberbullying makes most of them to ignore the cyberbullying menace. Their hands are tied, and educators feel that they cannot get involved in cyberbullying.
How the School can Integrate Society to Stop Cyberbullying
In the light of the above aspects, it is evident that the school plays a proactive role in controlling cyberbullying. The students that are being bullied and bullies mostly attend the same schools; thus, the role of schools in cyberbullying cannot be overlooked. Cyberbullying significantly affects how students relate to each other in classes, how they perform, and their involvement in after school activities. Thus, schools must get involved in cyberbullying. The fact that cyberbullying mostly affects the minors indicates that the schools have no choice but to get involved in cyberbullying. Nevertheless, although the school plays the main role in curbing cyberbullying, it will take the combined efforts of the student, family, the school, and the state to stop the practice completely.
At the student level, students should take responsibility for managing their digital reputation by having good societal values. Secondly, students should support victims of cyberbullying and report those who engage in the crime. Lastly, the students should also be taught the importance of changing their passwords to protect their privacy on social media (Donna et. al, 15)
At the family level, parents should be advised to keep computers in centralized places and have agreed on rules about their children’s use of technology. Secondly, parents should also monitor their children’s online activities. Moreover, parents should also look for signs of cyberbullying in their children, such as loss of interest in school and withdrawal from friends. Lastly, a parent should be active in their children’s lives and get to know the child’s friend online and offline.
The state should develop laws that criminalize cyberbullying and ways of punishing the perpetrators of the acts. In fact, the anti-bullying bill of rights should be effected in all the states. The state should also engage the police department in monitoring the students’ activities after school hours. By doing all these initiatives, we will address why the school cannot get involved in cyberbullying; thus, we will succeed in changing the minds of the opposers to such a notion.
In essence, all people in the society should take an active role in curbing the practice, but the school remains the main institution that will play a leading role in stopping cyberbullying.
As is evident from the discussion, the cyberbullying has continued to affect many minors in the society, and most of it begins at the school level. Therefore, the school has a vital role to play since students spend most of their time in schools. In essence, the school officials cannot run away from this role since they are the ones that will bear the consequences. However, to stop cyberbullying, the schools should involve the student, family and the state in accomplishing its vision. In fact, the final observation is that the school will always have a fundamental role in stopping and mitigating the cyberbullying menace.
Beckman, Kate. Cyberbullying: Should schools get involved? Faronics Blog. (2013). Web. 18th April 2016. www.faronics.com/news/blog/cyberbullying-should-schools-get-involved/
Cross, Donna, Monks, Helen, Campbell, Marilyn, Spears, Barbara, and Slee, Phillip. School-based strategies to address cyberbullying. Centre for Strategic Education. (2011). Web. 18th April 2016. ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1355&context=ecuworks2011
Gonchar, Michael. How Should Schools Address Cyberbullying? The New York Times. (2014). Web. 18th April 2016. learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/31/how-should-schools-address-cyberbullying/