Stop Cyberbullying and Self-Harm:
for the Facebook Generation
Someday they may call your students the "Facebook Generation." Their
worlds revolve around all things electronic. As a consequence, the
venue for student problems is shifting from the real world to the virtual
one. Unfortunately, virtual world problems can be very much real world
Cyberbullying prevention has become a must-do
for most elementary, middle and high school classrooms.
At our workshops, we are getting a lot more requests for
help with students who are facing or engaging in cyberbullying. We
also have been getting a lot of questions about what to do about
students who are literally trashing their own reputations and credibility
by posting damaging pictures and comments about partying, substance
abuse, their interpersonal relationships, and their feelings about their
teachers and bosses. In a time when more and more employers and
colleges are requiring access to applicants' Facebook and My Space
pages, students continue to make themselves unemployable and unlikely
admission candidates when their less-than-sedate lives are splayed all
over the internet– forever.
In this issue, you will be seeing cutting-edge, never-seen-before,
powerful new tools for the Facebook generation. They are designed to
reduce the cyberbullying, and self-harm your students may be involved
in on internet social network sites.
Just like the saying, "What happens in Vegas,
stays in Vegas," "What happens on the internet
stays on the internet," potentially forever.
Help your students avoid being haunted forever
by indiscretions, vulnerabilities, or misbehavior that they
exposed to the world when they where just thirteen or fifteen or
Your students need help with cyber-safety, and fortunately, we have
great cyberbullying prevention strategies for you.
Cyberbullying Prevention Methods
THE ACCIDENTAL RESUME
Students who post on
Facebook and similar sites
about partying, their intimate
relationship details, substance
abuse, or their dislike for their
employer and job, probably
don't realize that they are
doing great self-harm. Make
sure your students know that
many employers and
university admissions staff are
now requiring access to
students' Facebook and My
Space pages, and they often
ask to review students' blogs.
In fact, there are now sites so
sophisticated that bosses and
universities don't have to ask.
These rogue sites gather
pictures and text from
supposedly private pages and
blogs. A student may be only
13, but their misdeeds as a young teen may follow them in cyberspace
for the rest of their lives. Youthful errors used to stay in the past, but that will stop with the Facebook generation.
Because the internet is forever, you can refer to Facebook as "the accidental resume."
The intervention pictured above gives you state-of-the-art tools to educate your students before they are harmed in cyberspace. It shows a Facebook page where a student has made negative comments about his/her job, and revealed his substance abuse.
This worksheet/poster brings the cyber world and real world together. Ask students to view this worksheet through the eyes of a boss, school admissions officer, or apartment manager. (Thanks to special ed teacher, Chris Wells for this
truly amazing worksheet.)
ANTI-SOCIAL NETWORKING HURTS BULLIES TOO
Bullies, be they cyberbullies
or real-world bullies, they're not known
for their empathy.
If you want to change the
bully's behavior, avoid
interventions at all times.
Instead, show the bully
that by hurting others,
he hurts himself.
Bullies will rein in their conduct if they may lose something they want, so show bullies that if their expertise with people is being a good bully, they will have great difficulty keeping jobs, apartments, roommates, friends, etc.
Teach bullies that there is "no way to hurt others without hurting yourself." Be sure that you don't let bullies say they can stop bullying but they choose not to.
Use some of the phrases included on our Poster #097 – shown above, click on it to enlarge it– such as "Bully today, bully tomorrow. Stop now if you can."
IS CYBER CRIME
"But I didn't think it was cyberbullying." That's what
students often say to avoid responsibility for their actions
online. Wipe out that excuse before it happens. Begin by
ensuring that all your students know exactly what constitutes cyberbullying.