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Cyber-Bullying Julie Gagne Scott Hartstein Christine Indelli

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1 Cyber-Bullying Julie Gagne Scott Hartstein Christine Indelli
Donna Krueger Gena Kvist EDUC 5011 November, 2007

2 I c u i know where u live and how to get to u when u r alone i have a knife

3 Jason112: u r gay BobbyD211: i m not! Jason112: i saw u with Tim Jason112: im telling everyone that u r gay

4 15 year-old girl from Canada:
“Just last week on MSN, we were talking to one of our friends and she added somebody else on line. We were having a three-way conversation and the other person was so racist to us. We got mad and we started writing bad stuff back, because we thought we knew who it was. But she wouldn’t stop swearing and stuff, and she wouldn’t stop being racist. I deleted the person right after and blocked them and all that. Now, I’m more careful.”

5 15 year-old girl from the United Kingdom:
"One of my friends started hassling me on msn messenger; she was sending me nasty messages and text messages and this carried on at school. I told my parents, my friends, and a teacher. She was spoken to a few times but it still carries on a bit now but not as bad because i have blocked her online. This really affected me at home and at school; I couldn't concentrate on school work and I was always upset and down now I just ignore it and get on with it, I have plenty more friends and i don't need her anymore. Maybe one day she will give up and grow up."

6 17 year-old girl from Pennsylvania:
“I had recently picked on a old friend of mine, for what I will not reveal because it was unusually cruel, however she had done something to me that was equally as wrong or if not worse. I was disappointed in her, and for that I decided not to be a friend any longer and spread her deepest secrets to everyone, which made her look like a complete fool. I felt somewhat guilty because I had known her for years, at the same time it was a pay back and I think she learned from it some when it comes to attempting to mess around with me.”

7 “Well the only reason I bullied is because the same person I was doing
15 year-old boy from undisclosed location: “Well the only reason I bullied is because the same person I was doing it to, did it to me like a week before. It wasn't the right thing to do but at the time it felt like I was getting revenge.”

8 13-year-old Ryan Halligan of Vermont
was insulted, taunted, and threatened for months. A cyber-bully spread rumors that he was gay. A popular girl pretended that she liked him, then shared Ryan’s messages with her friends. Ryan killed himself.

9 Have You Ever… Signed on with someone else’s screen name to
An Internet safety website asks: Have You Ever… Signed on with someone else’s screen name to gather info? Sent an or online greeting card from someone’s account? Impersonated someone over IM or online? Teased or frightened someone over IM? Not told someone who you really are online, telling them to “guess”? Forwarded a private IM conversation or without the permission of the other person?

10 Changed your profile or away message designed
to embarrass or frighten someone? Posted pictures or information about someone on a Web site without their consent? Created an Internet poll, either over IM or on a Web site, about someone without their consent? Used information found online to follow, tease, embarrass or harass someone in person? Sent rude or scary things to someone, even if you were just joking? Used bad language online? Signed someone else up for something online without their permission?

11 Used an IM or e-mail address that looked like someone else’s?
Used someone else’s password for any reason without their permission? Hacked into someone else’s computer or sent a virus or Trojan horse to them? Insulted someone in an interactive game room? Posted rude things or lies about someone online? Voted at an online bashing poll or posted to a guestbook saying rude or mean things? From

12 These are all examples of

13 What is Cyber-Bullying?
Cyber-bullying is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.

14 Cyber-bullying, which is sometimes referred to as online social cruelty or electronic bullying, can involve: Sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images; Posting sensitive, private information about another person; Pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad; Intentionally excluding someone from an online group Children and youth can cyber-bully each other through: s, Instant messaging, Text or digital imaging messages sent on cell phones, Web pages, Web logs (blogs), Chat rooms or discussion groups, and Other information communication technologies


16 How Prevalent is Cyber-Bullying?
I-Safe America, an Internet safety education foundation, conducted a survey of 1566 students between fourth and eighth grade to find out their experiences with online bullying. The survey found: 57% of students said that someone had said hurtful or angry things to them online with 13% saying it happens “quite often” 53% of students admit to saying mean or hurtful things to someone online with 5% saying it happens “quite often” 42% have been bullied online with 7% saying it happens “quite often” 20% have received mean or threatening s 58% have not told their parents or another adult about their experiences online”

17 Why Do Kids Cyber-Bully?
To torment To enhance social standing Didn’t think before they clicked “send” To feel powerful To right a wrong They’re angry Frustrated Bored Want revenge For laughs By accident To get a reaction

18 What Kinds of Kids are Cyber-Bullies?
“Vengeful Angels” “Power-Hungry” or “Revenge of the Nerds” “Mean Girls” “Inadvertent Cyber-bullies”

19 “Vengeful Angels” Don’t see themselves as cyber-bullies
Feel they are righting wrongs May be protecting someone else being who is being bullied Work alone, but may let close friends know Help them understand that they are bullies, not do-gooders Address the original injustice Show them other ways to address wrongs, such as consulting peer counselors and school administrators

20 “Power-Hungry” “Revenge of the Nerds”
Have better technical skills Often victims of offline bullying Empowered by anonymity Keep activities secret Don’t feel they are doing serious damage Want to show that they are powerful Control others with fear Need an audience and reaction

21 “Mean Girls” Usually a group of girls targeting other girls
Immature and ego-based Looking for entertainment Need an audience Bullying grows with group admiration and silent by-standers Can stop if bullies don’t get “entertained”

22 “Inadvertent Cyber-Bullies”
Don’t consider themselves bullies Pretend to be tough online React impulsively to provocative messages “Because I Can” May send messages to friends as joke Work alone Are surprised to be called cyber-bullies

23 How Victims Feel Humiliated Afraid Helpless Harassed
Anxious, especially if they cannot identify perpetrator Despondent, since they cannot escape cyber-bullying by retreating to their homes


25 Victim Warning Signs Becomes antisocial Mood swings
Spends a lot of time on computer Nightmares/ trouble sleeping Other unusual behavior Mood swings Feels unwell Depressed/ cries without reason Falls behind in homework

26 What Can Students Do? Don’t give out usernames, passwords, and personal information Tell a parent, school counselor or teacher Don’t delete messages Record the time and date Report it to your phone company or ISP provider Block the sender Call the police if messages are threatening Don’t reply Don’t open a message if you don’t know the sender Change your address or cell phone number

27 What Can Parents Do? Know how and when your children are using the Internet Encourage your child to talk to you if they are being bullied, or if they know someone who is Develop a family agreement including Where kids can go online and what they can do there How much time they spend on the Internet What to do if anything makes them uncomfortable How to protect their personal information, stay safe in interactive environments, and behave ethically and responsibly online

28 What Can Parents Do? Keep the lines of communication open
Become more tech savvy Install blocking or filtering software or tracking programs Learn some common chat abbreviations LOL – laughing out loud SETE – smiling ear to ear PAW – parents are watching TILII – tell it like it is WTGP? – want to go private? YBS – you’ll be sorry TOY – thinking of you LY4E – love ya forever EG – evil grin DQMOT – don’t quote me on this BTDT – been there, done that A/S/L? – age, sex, location? Chat abbreviations can be found at

29 Parent/Teenager “Scripts” to Promote Dialogue and Discussion
What Can Parents Do? Parent/Teenager “Scripts” to Promote Dialogue and Discussion Cyber-bullying on Social Networking Sites Cyber-bullying via Cyber-bullying via Cell Phone Text Message

30 Other Questions to Promote Dialogue
Are other kids picking on you online? If so, how? Is it via , or chat, or instant message, or on MySpace or similar sites? Does it just happen once in a while, or is it a constant problem? Do you get concerned that people will read what others have written about you online and think it's true? Did you know that physical and personal threats online are against the law and are a crime, just like offline threats? Has any online argument also popped up offline, maybe at school or when you're hanging out with your friends?

31 What Can Schools Do? Teach students: To be accountable for actions
Don’t stand by while others are being bullied Take time to calm down before responding Cyber-bullying can get you in trouble with the law Talk to a trusted adult

32 What Can Schools Do? Zero tolerance for bullying in any form
Ensure that students are aware that all bullying concerns will be dealt with sensitively and effectively Ensure that parents expressing bullying concerns will have them taken seriously Develop school policies for acceptable Internet and cell phone use, and enforce them

33 What Can Schools Do? Acceptable use policies
Signed by both students and parents Specify that school can act when safety or welfare of a student is at risk Cover actions taken outside of school hours and off school grounds Should be written by school board attorney or cyberspace-expert attorney

34 “Talk About It” Anonymous online messaging and emergency notification service for schools Students communicate via the Internet their own problems or the troubles of other schoolmates and peers Students report problems and incidents ranging from bullying, gangs, threats of violence, suicide and cheating to drug and alcohol abuse, pregnancy, depression, stress, physical abuse, self-mutilation, sexual harassment and date rape Empowers faculty with an ‘early warning system’ so that they may proactively communicate, intervene and resolve school violence before it can occur Developed by Ancomm, Inc. $2,995 per year for one school

35 Rehabilitation for Cyber-Bullies
Intervention that focuses on self-control Lead bully toward feeling ashamed of behavior Cooperative learning teams Anonymous feedback of social skills provided by peer evaluations Self-evaluations Empathy-building exercises Examples of civil ways to cope with frustration and conflict Activities that require patience, self-restraint, and nonviolent anger expression Setting goals with reasonable plan for improvement Acceptance of responsibility for personal misconduct

36 An Interview with a Parent
Who were the people involved in the incident? The student who was bullied was an African American girl named Paige. Both of the students who were the bullies are Caucasian, one male and one female. They all attend school in Oak Park / River Forest. Could you describe the incident? The bullies created a MySpace page entitled “Nigger Bitch”. The contents proceeded to explain various sexual acts that she loves to perform. The page gave her name, age, the school that she attends, and her picture. When Paige found out, the contents had been posted for three months. During this time students were freely viewing My Space pages in the school computer lab, including the page created by the bullies.

37 What actions followed the incident?
Paige’s parents contacted the school superintendent. By working with the people at My Space, they were able to get the page removed and learn the identity of the students responsible. Paige’s parents contacted the parents of the bullies and asked them to have their children publicly apologize to the student body for what they had done. They refused, as the bullies denied creating the page even though there was evidence against them.

38 What actions did the school take?
The bullies were given two days of “In school suspension.” Since this is served during the regular school day, many students had no idea that any disciplinary action had been taken. This caused another problem. When an African American male student came across the male bully in the locker room, he pulled a knife on the student. Fortunately, he was not hurt, and the student with the knife was expelled.

39 Do you feel this racial incident could have been avoided?
Yes - I feel if the students involved were forced to make a public apology explaining that it’s wrong to make racial slurs, and why it’s wrong, this incident could have been avoided. What was the outcome of this case? The students involved were charged and found guilty of a felony hate crime. The bullies were each given 18 months probation, and required to serve 40 hours in sensitivity training. To this day, Paige still worries that a predator might find out were she goes to school. Students need to be aware of the far reaching effects that cyber-bullying can have. Additionally, schools need to be more in tune with what’s going on within their walls. After the incident the school blocked access to My Space in the computer lab.

40 A Final Thought In fiction, Harry Potter used his magical powers to deal with Dudley, his bullying cousin. We do not have magic to help stop cyber-bullying. We do have creativity and persistence. New, effective methods must be found to protect students from being bullied. Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts School, urged the young wizard Harry to remember, "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

41 References Journal Articles:
Keith, Susan, Martin, Michelle E. (2005) Cyber-Bullying: Creating a Culture of Respect in a Cyber World, Reclaiming Children and Youth: The Journal of Strength-based Interventions, Vol. 13, p. 224. Strom, Paris S., Strom, Robert D. (2005) Cyberbullying by Adolescents: A Preliminary Assessment, The Educational Forum, Fall 2005, Vol. 7, p Websites:

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