Skip to main content

Digital Citizenship: Cyberbullying

Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind.

  • Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind (Henry James).
  • Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible (Dalai Lama)
  • Build people up, do not tear them down (Fr. Najim, Opening Mass 2013).
  • If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
  • Always be aware that what you send to one person, can be resent to so many more.

Why is Cyberbullying So Problematic?

  • Web makes bullying harder to escape.   End of school day used to bring relief - now students can be bullied 24/7.

  • Attacker does not need to look his/her victim in the eye and/or he/she can do it anonymously.

  • Number of witnesses can increase dramatically through social networking and forwarding.

  • Possibility of going viral and post essentially lives forever in digital memory.
  • Most vulnerable - 12 to 13-year-olds. 

- from Sticks and Stones by Emily Bazelon

Cyberbulling Affects Real Lives

Video: Stacey's Story - When Rumors Escalate

How to Combat Cyberbulling: If you are targeted

  • Ignore and block the bully.  Often bullies just want attention.  Ignore them and they might give up.

  • Save the evidence.  You may need it later for evidence.

  • Change privacy settings.  Allow only people you trust to see or comment on your pages.
  • Tell trusted friends and adults.  Create a support network.
  • Do not respond with bullying behavior.  

How to Combat Cyberbullying: If you are a witness

  • Stand up to the offender when appropriate.  If you see something negative, say something. Tell them to back off.

  • Help the target advocate.  Help them find friends and school leaders who can de-escalate the situation.  It's easier to stand up to cruelty when you are not alone.