Cyberbullying: What is it?
According to bullyingstatistics.org, over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online while nearly half have engaged in bullying themselves. An astounding 1 in 3 teens has been the recipient of cyber threats while spending time online.
Cyberbullying can be defined as “the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.” As shown in the chart below, this issue has increased at an alarming rate since 2009, rising from 8.6 million to over 503 million online conversations in which the topic of bullying was discussed over the span of four years.
We often assume cyberbullying as an issue among teens and young adults, when in fact, cyberbullying in elementary school is becoming a prominent issue that must be addressed and eliminated. Based on a survey conducted by I-Safe America, “over 40% of children in grades 4–8 have been bullied online.”
I order to stop the cycle before it starts, it is crucial that all elementary schools promote a no tolerance policy for students engaging in any form of cyberbullying when at home and at school. Such forms of cyberbullying includes and is not limited to:
- Cruel remarks
- Spreading rumors or personal information about others
- Inappropriate comments on photos or profiles of others
- Excluding or isolating another person
- Creating fake identities to harass others
- Online fights through emails, social media accounts, etc.
As a future elementary teacher, I believe it will be my responsibility to implement a strict classroom policy in which my students will not be permitted to engage in any form of cyberbullying. If a student were to witness cyberbullying occurring among students, it will be the responsibility of the witness to alert an adult of what is happening in order to eliminate the behavior and implement consequences immediately.