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Adrienne Woolbright Cyberbullying As technology rises in popularity, so does its many uses.

Some of these uses include further education for children and better resources. It also allows for better communication between teachers and parents. Although it does have these positives aspects to it, technology and the internet have brought about one negative growing trend, which is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can be defined as a form of traditional bullying that primarily takes place via the internet or a digital communication device. There are preventative methods to cyberbullying but the main issue is if schools should be mandated to have policies regarding cyberbullying and preventative methods or not. Although it is ideal that parents talk to their children about cyberbullying and provide them with the tools necessary to deal with this epidemic, it would be foolish to think every parent/ guardian is going to do this. That is why it is important for schools to provide children with a preventative cyberbullying plan. Bullying in general can be defined as aggressive behavior that is intentional due to an imbalance of power. A child can be a bully, a victim, or both a bully and a victim. Usually most bullies were bullied at some point in their lives, or feel a loss of control causing them to bully. Traditionally bulling includes kicking, punching, teasing, or name -calling, however, the rise of technology has given children the opportunity to bully in a different way. Cyberbullying extends bullying to include sending mean messages, posting sensitive information about another person, pretending to be someone else in order to make someone else look bad, and intentionally excluding someone from an online group. These can occur through, e-mail, instant messages, text messages, social networking sites, web pages, blogs, and chat rooms (Cyberbullying).

Adrienne Woolbright As stated previously, it is very important that parents are aware of cyberbullying and the effects it has on children. In a recent study done by the Anti-Bullying Alliance in Great Britain, over half of the parents surveyed hadnt talked to their children about cyberbullying. This includes asking if the child had ever been cyberbullied and how to protect themselves from ever being cyberbullied. This is important because one in five children aged ten to eleven reported they had been cyberbullied (Parents). When it comes to cyberbullying, children need to feel comfortable talking to their parents about their technology usage. If they are not and cyberbullying occurs the child will not tell their parents and the issue will go unresolved and the child may not know how to deal with it. If the parent is aware of the issue, it makes it much easier for them to contact the school and let the school know of the issue. When there is an agreement between parents and the school, the school can do more to help students who are being bullied feel comfortable at school and less afraid. Although prevention should be an obligation as a parent, there has been great debate if schools should be held responsible for damage done by, and the prevention of, cyberbullying. Some states believe it should be required of schools and teachers to have a prevention plan. For example, the state of South Carolina recently passed a law that requires school districts to define bullying and outline policies and repercussions for the behavior. Other states have also joined in requiring school districts to set up policies regarding cyberbullying such as Arkansas, Oregon, Vermont, and Rhode Island (Cyberbullying concerns). Some prevention plans that have already been established include, Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, Second Step: A Violence Prevention Curriculum, and Steps to Respect: A Bullying Prevention Program (Find). All three programs emphasize including community, parents, and teachers as a means for preventing cyberbullying. The thought process is if one of

Adrienne Woolbright these is missing then students will go to that place or person to accomplish their cyberbullying. For instance, if community is missing from preventing cyberbullying, a child may go to their public library and cyberbully. Another component of prevention includes blocking certain websites from children. This can occur at school or at home. By blocking sites such as yahoo or MSN messenger, you constrict childrens ability to message other students which in turn does not allow them to talk about one another via the internet. The major issue surrounding whether or not schools should provide these programs arose due to the rising trend of suing schools when a child is harmed by cyberbullying outside of the school. This was the case in a middle school in New Jersey. A young girl was cyberbullied and when the school took no action, the parents could sue for not protecting their daughter from the unknown cyber-bully (Cyber-bullying). On the opposite side of the spectrum, a case in California occurred where a parent sued the school not, however, for failing to protect his eighth grade daughter but for intervening in an after school incident (Cyber-bullying). One can see a conflict of interests by parents has come of cyberbullying. This makes it hard for schools to decide if they are going to enforce rules regarding cyberbullying or not. A resolution is for schools to pick one side or the other and make policies regarding the side they choose. If a school does have procedures regarding cyberbullying they need to make them a part of their school policies and inform parents of these policies. If a program is going to be used in the school, it must have strong administrative leadership and commitment from teachers in the school to be effective (Find). This is also true if schools do not have a procedure for cyberbullying. If their policies are to not partake in cyberbullying committed by students then parents will know it is their own responsibility to educate their own children about the issue.

Adrienne Woolbright Overall, cyberbullying is becoming a bigger and bigger problem in our society. Children are continually left alone with more and more families having both parents working, thus allowing children to have more independence with computers and the internet. Children are also clearly spending most of their time in school, where parents cannot be around to discipline the children, creating a greater need for teachers to be involved in protecting students from bullying. Children need to learn at a young age that the Internet should not be used as a means to bully other children and teachers can have a heavy influence on teaching students that cyberbullying is wrong. Schools should implement more programs to demonstrate the negative effects that cyberbullying can cause on students. By showing situations in which negative outcomes occurred, children can get a feel of just how serious cyberbullying is. Children at a young age do not realize that bullying can have such drastic effects on other students self-esteem. Parents might be hesitant to see their own child as someone who is cyberbullying so they may choose to overlook this issue. Teachers are a better indicator of realizing when bullying is occurring. For this reason it is even more important that schools have programs and that teachers are trained to be able to realize when a child is being bullied.

Adrienne Woolbright Works Cited "Cyber-bullying in Schools: Clashing Expectations over the Schools Role | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice." Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice | Just Another WordPress.com Weblog. Web. 05 Dec. 2010. <http://larrycuban.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/cyber-bullying-in-schools-clashingexpectations-over-the-schools-role/>. "Cyberbullying." Stop Bullying Now. Web. 05 Dec. 2010. <http://www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/adults/cyber-bullying.aspx>. "Cyberbullying concerns on the rise." American School Board Journal 194.4 (2007): 16. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 5 Dec. 2010. Find Youth Info. Web. 05 Dec. 2010. <http://www.findyouthinfo.gov/index.shtml>.
"Parents

don't do enough to protect kids from cyberbullying." Education (14637073) 374 (2009): 2. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 5 Dec. 2010.