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CYBER BULLYING ‘Demystifying and Deescalating Cyber Bullying’

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1 CYBER BULLYING ‘Demystifying and Deescalating Cyber Bullying’
Barbara Trolley, Ph.D. CRC Connie Hanel, M.S.E.d & Linda Shields, M.S.E.d.

2 Psychological, Educational and Social School Response
WORKSHOP GOALS Terminology Assessment Issues & Protocol Decision Tree ‘PEAS’ PROGRAM: Psychological, Educational and Social School Response

3 CYBER BULLYING IS… Being cruel to others by sending or posting harmful
material using technological means; an individual or group that uses information and communication involving electronic technologies to facilitate deliberate and repeated harassment or threat to an individual or group. Also known as: ‘Electronic Bullying’ & ‘Online Social Cruelty’

Cell phones Pager text messages Instant messaging Defamatory personal web sites Defamatory online personal polling web sites Chat rooms

5 DIFFERENCES BULLYING DIRECT Occurs on school property
Poor relationships with teachers Fear retribution Physical: Hitting, Punching & Shoving Verbal: Teasing, Name calling & Gossip Nonverbal: Use of gestures & Exclusion CYBERBULLYING ANONYMOUS Occurs off school property Good relationships with teachers Fear loss of technology privileges Further under the radar than bullying Emotional reactions cannot be determined {McKenna & Bargh, 2004; Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004}

“Inadvertent” Role-play Responding May not realize it’s cyber bullying “Vengeful Angel” Righting wrongs Protecting themselves “Mean Girls” Bored; Entertainment Ego based; promote own social status Often do in a group Intimidate on and off line Need others to bully; if isolated, stop “Power-Hungry” Want reaction Controlling with fear “Revenge of the Nerds” (“Subset of Power-Hungry”) Often Victims of school-yard bullies Throw ‘cyber-weight’ around Not school-yard bullies like Power-Hungry & Mean Girls {Parry Aftab. Esq., Executive Director,}

7 CYBER BULLYING TYPES “Flaming’: Online fights using electronic messages with angry and vulgar language “Harassment”: Repeatedly sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages “Cyber stalking”: Repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm or are highly intimidating. Engaging in other on-line activities that make a person afraid for his or her own safety “Denigration”: ‘Dissing’ someone online. Sending or posting cruel gossip or rumors about a person to damage his or her reputation or friendships

8 CYBER BULLYING TYPES “Impersonation”: Pretending to be someone else and sending or posting material online that makes that person look bad, gets that person in trouble or danger, or damages that person’s reputation or friendships “Outing and Trickery”: Sharing someone’s secret or embarrassing information online. Tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information which is then shared online “Exclusion”: Intentionally excluding someone from an on-line group, like a ‘buddy list’ {Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D., Director of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use}

Cyber bullying typically starts at about 9 years of age and usually ends after 14 years of age; after 14, it becomes cyber or sexual harassment due to nature of acts and age of actors {Aftab} Affects 65-85% of kids in the core group directly or indirectly through close friends (Aftab)

Aftab’s statistics: 90% of middle school students they polled had their feelings hurt online 65% of their students between 8-14 have been involved directly or indirectly in a cyber bullying incident as the cyber bully, victim or friend 50% had seen or heard of a website bashing of another student 75% had visited a website bashing 40% had their password stolen and changed by a bully (locking them out of their own account) or sent communications posing as them Problems in studies: not assessing the ‘real thing’ i.e. Only 15% of parent polled knew what cyber bullying was

In the school year, i-SAFE America surveyed students from across the country on a new topic: Cyber Bullying It is a topic that not many adults were talking about but one that is all too familiar with students. 42% of kids have been bullied while online. 1 in 4 have had it happen more than once. 35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly 1 in 5 have had it happen more than once. 21% of kids have received mean or threatening or other messages. 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out of 10 say it has happened more than once. 53% of kids admit having said something mean or hurtful to another person online. More than 1 in 3 have done it more than once. 58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online. Based on 2004 i-SAFE survey of 1,500 students grades 4-8

*Taken from an i-SAFE America survey of students nationwide.

Who May Be Involved: School Counselor Principal Resource Officer Police Attorney (School or Private) Superintendent Internet Service Provider General (Willard, 2005) School Limits: Schools have policies against bullying Civil Law Limits: Cyber bullying may also meet standards for ‘institutional torts’ (wrongdoings) Defamation Material that Constitutes an Invasion of Privacy (1st Amendment) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Criminal Law Limits The following kinds of speech can lead to arrest & prosecution: Making threats of violence to people or their property Engaging in coercion Making obscene or harassing phone calls Harassment or stalking Hate or bias crimes Creating or sending sexually explicit images of teens Sexual exploitation Taking a photo of someone in place where privacy expected General (Willard, 2005)

‘Educator’s Guide To Cyber bullying: Addressing the Harm of On-line Social Cruelty’ (Nancy Willard, 2005) Law Enforcement should be contacted if educator becomes aware of: Death threats or threats of other forms of violence to a person or property Excessive intimidation or extortion Threats or intimidation that involve any form of bias or discrimination Any evidence of sexual exploitation

‘Offsite Internet Activities and Schools’ (Copyright 2005 Parry Aftab, Esq. All rights reserved) Conflicting decisions in regard to school’s authority with respect to cases under state and federal jurisdictions School should seek legal consult often beyond regular school attorney (e.g., a constitutional or cyber-free speech lawyer) ‘Within School Authority’ Guidelines: Clear-cut threats Clearly disruptive of school discipline encouraged to visit website; student accesses or works on website in school School owned website or school-sponsored project website Any proof of in-school impact (e.g., materials on grounds; psychosocial, behavioral or academic impact on others) Proof the student’s website or harassment has had impact on staff (e.g., quits, leave of absence, medical TX for emotional issues)- otherwise seek outside legal recourse

‘What Everyone Needs to Know About Cyber Bullying’ (Aftab) Many cases of child cyber bullying, like adult counterparts of cyber-harassment, not criminal Law Enforcement needs to be aware of: Difference between annoying and dangerous communications How to investigate a cyber crime How to obtain information from an ISP

Traditional Program Concerns (Fleming, Towey, Limber, Gross, Rubin, Wright & Anderson, 2002) Zero Tolerance & “3 Strikes & Out” Negatively impacts on willingness to report Casts large net Bullies need pro-social role models Anger Management, Skill Building, Empathy Building, Self-Esteem Enhancement Group members serve as role models & reinforcers of bullying, anti-social behavior Bullies don’t need self-esteem boosted Mediation Appropriate in cases of equal power, not bully & victim Parallels possible in doing mediation in domestic violence Appropriate message to bullies: Your behavior is inappropriate, won’t be tolerated Message to victim: No one deserves to be bullied and we’re going to try to stop it

Articles: “Zero Tolerance Policies Encourage ‘Lockdown Environment’ in Schools”(Fuentes, 2003) “One Strike and You’re Out of School” (Joiner, 2004) Youthful suicide, financial ruin, families torn apart for minor infractions.: How post Columbine hysteria is wrecking lives “Every Child is Worth Saving” ( Additional Lists of Articles & Commentaries ‘News” ( Summary Children taught to not fight back Frequently have adults such as teachers ‘protect’ them Those being bullied often want friends or are fearful so don’t ‘narc’ Having been bullied, may have poor self-esteem All involved in cyber bullying not caught, assessed or disciplined Adults may be seemingly unresponsive …..retaliation on-line

(Aftab, PowerPoint communication) PROGRAM OFFERINGS: trains teens & preteens to be part of solution WiredKids and WiredTeens” programs for schools and communities one to one hotline and multiple resources Videos, Lesson Plans and Activities Parent and Community Programs Law enforcement training and briefings Local county level summits on cyber bullying Assistance on technological software & tools to help

What Everyone Needs to Know About Cyber bullying’ (Aftab) Education of Children: All actions have consequences Cyber bullying hurts They are just being used and manipulated by cyber bully Cyber bully and accomplices often become the target of cyber bullying themselves Care about others and stand up for what’s right

Comprehensive Plan (Willard, 2005) Schools Policies concerning misuse of technology Evaluate how staff is and can more effectively monitor Internet use Parents Discuss cyber bullying Supervise and increase effective monitoring of Internet use Since more adults supervise, more children will hide activities, strategies needed to change social norms in these on-line works, empower the victim with knowledge how to prevent & respond, & to discourage bullies from engaging in such activities

Schools should: Focus on values of kindness and respectful human relations Enhancement of empathic awareness Develop effective problem solving skills Empowerment of bystanders

Specific Step Wise Plan: 1 Engage in participatory planning {Integrate into Safe Schools. District Technology Awareness; Non-school Participants} 2 Conduct needs assessment {Assessment available at Center for Safe & Responsible Internet Use} 3 Ensure that an effective anti--bullying program in place {core not authoritarian values; predictive empathy; peer norms vs. bullying; peer intervention skills, effective administrative responses} 4 Review policies & Procedures {Monitoring, report box, internet & other technological pp} 5 Conduct Professional Development {key individual sophisticated in the area; all administrators, librarians, counselors and technology educators basic understanding; all other staff alerted to existence, how to detect} 6 Provide Parent Education {prevention, detection & intervention strategies; alert child to potential consequences of school discipline, loss of family account, civil litigation, criminal prosecution} 7 Evaluate {prevention & intervention programs}

Intervention Strategies for Cyber bullying Directed at Student 1-Save the evidence 2-Conduct a threat assessment {if cyber bullying poses substantial disruption, violence or suicide concerns; contact law enforcement if threats of violence} 3-Assesss response options {direct school nexus may warrant school disciplinary action; if off campus and not substantial threat, no disciplinary action but help victim} 4-Identify the Perpetrators {technical assistance; assess validity of person’s identity; offer technical assistance to parents} 5-Supprt the victim {even if no disciplinary action, offer support and assistance to victim and parents; offer counseling mediation, technical assistance; direct to community resources} 6-Provide guidance on how to remove the speech 7-Seek to use informal resolution strategies {contact perpetrator parents, offer assistance, suggest legal consultation; offer counseling, mediation in school; recognize the cyber bully is a hurt kid and try to help both victim and perpetrator Intervention Strategies for Cyber bullying Directed at Staff 1- Assess Type of Speech 2- Take action based on assessment

What Everyone Needs to Know About Cyber bullying’ (Aftab) Assessment to differentiate between ‘rude communications’ and ‘cyber bullying’: 1- Kind of Threats 2- Frequency of Threat 3- Source of Threats 4- Nature of the Threats … The more frequent, the greater the threat, the mention of more dangerous methods & the involvement of third parties tends to increase the seriousness of the threat Knowing the cyber bully may increase or decrease the threat

Cyber Bully Incident Report Complete report & collect evidence Domains Family School Social Multiple Factors Risk vs. Resiliency Informants Parents Teachers Students Administrators Methods Interview Collateral info Assess. Forms Standardized Instr. (SAVRY) Dispositions Contacts Administration Police Disciplinary Detention Suspension Expulsion Arrest Therapeutic PEAS Program Family Support Ctr. Outside Counseling Residential Treatment Ongoing Prevention

Interview & Evidence Gathering Collateral Information/Evidence Collection Cyber Bully Assessments Student Form School Counselor Form Standardized Instruments {SAVRY} RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DISPOSITION: Disciplinary Therapeutic Detention Outside Counseling Suspension ‘PEAS’ Program: Expulsion Psychological Educational Social School Response

29 ‘PEAS’ PROGRAM Psychological-Educational-And-Social
‘P’-PSYCHOLOGICAL: 1. Outside Counseling Referral 2. Family Support Center Referral 3. In-School Counseling 4. Anger Management group 5. Peer Mediation & Conflict Resolution {cyber bullies} 6. Apology & Impact Statement 7. ‘On-Line Safe Box’

30 ‘PEAS’ PROGRAM Psychological-Educational-And-Social
‘E’-EDUCATIONAL: 1. CURRICULUM INFUSION ELA Assignments- Movie Documentary Book/Movie Review/Report Poem/Short Story/Song Writing a play/paper Watch Movie ‘Inbox’ and discuss impact/develop program Social Studies Review of People in History who were bullied Mock trial regarding injustices/victimization Technology Use/Misuses Safety Review Develop Positive Websites Art Anti-Cyber bullying posters ‘Cyber Bullying Curriculum’ (Nancy Willard)

31 ‘PEAS’ PROGRAM Psychological-Educational-And-Social
‘E’-EDUCATIONAL: Continued 2. PEER MATCHING: Higher/lower grade reading, tutor Higher/lower grade play production Higher/lower grade cyber bully {‘recovered’/’charged’} Pen Pals Extracurricular Activities (match cyber bullyer/ee) 3. SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES: High school student small group discussion on impact/consequences of cyber bullying/being cyber bullied Lawyer to discuss possible legal consequences/ Former student, possibly at the high school, involved in cyber bullying, and/or legally charged for cyber bullying Current Teacher/Administrator/Parent involved in cyber bullying

32 ‘PEAS’ PROGRAM Psychological-Educational-And-Social
‘E’-EDUCATIONAL: Continued 4. DEVELOPMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS: 5. PARENT EDUCATION: Uses/Misuses of Technology Supervision Strategies 6. SCHOOL STAFF IN-SERVICES: Types Assessment Responses Program Evaluation

33 ‘PEAS’ PROGRAM Psychological-Educational-And-Social
‘S’-SOCIAL: 1. EXTRACURRICULAR/PROJECTS: Intramural/Projects between Classes Beyond Sports Homework Completion & Pizza Party Fundraising & Award/Rewards School Socials Plays on Topic Art contest School/Community Newspaper article Visit to Foster care/geriatric settings 2. DRESS POLICY: Dress Code - Decrease Comparisons & Possibility of ‘Deviant Dress’ 3. PEER MATCHING: Higher/lower grade reading, tutor Higher/lower grade play production Higher/lower grade cyber bully {‘recovered’/’charged’} Pen Pals Extracurricular Activities (match cyber bullyer/ee)

A better understanding of what cyber bullying is Addressing appropriate computer protocol and specifically cyber bullying via the schools’ clearly defined and systematically implemented AUP so that schools can provide intervention even in instances that occur outside of school Clearer delineation of school responsibility in responding to incidents, especially off school grounds Clearer school policies and action plans; increased continuity in implementing school responses Increased assessment of incidents and those involved Decision making regarding the cyber bully and the individual being cyber bullied based on:        A decision tree protocol Assessment process Systematic, therapeutic responses, not isolated disciplinary reactions Integration of educational, psycho-social interventions Inclusion of prevention measures that are comprehensive and systemic in approach Communication among students, counselors, teachers, administrators, parents & community Individualized responses, with understanding that a wide degree of variation exists in motivation Change needs to come from all levels and grades: Individual Classroom School culture Victimization often occurs with both the person being cyber bullied and the cyber bully Important to ‘not throw the baby out with the bathwater’… Our children are not disposable!


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