Bullying & Cyber-Bullying
Dr. Greg Allen, Ph.D., LMFT
Bullying can take many forms including name calling, teasing, spreading rumors, physical aggression and cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is the use of technology such as phones and the internet to deliberately and repeatedly harm other people. If you or someone you know is being harassed or bullied at school or online please notify a counselor or administrator so we can address the issue right away!
The internet can be a wonderful resource for student, helping them communicate with teachers and research papers. It can also be an extremely harmful place for teenagers. It is important for parents to be aware of what their child is looking at, whom they are communicating with and what they are sharing about themselves online. Below are some basic guidelines to follow to ensure internet safety for your self and/or your teenager:
Don’t give out personal information without your parents’ permission. This means you should not share your last name, home address, school name, or telephone number. Remember, just because someone asks for information about you does not mean you have to tell them anything about yourself!
When creating your screen name, do not include personal information like your last name or date of birth.
Don’t share your password with anyone but your parents. When you use a public computer make sure you logout of the accounts you’ve accessed before leaving the terminal.
Don’t post photos or videos online without getting your parents’ permission.
Don’t agree to meet an online friend unless you have your parents’ permission. Unfortunately, sometimes people pretend to be people they aren't. Remember that not everything you read online is true.
Don’t buy anything online without talking to your parents first. Some ads may try to trick you by offering free things or telling you that you have won something as a way of collecting your personal information.
Talk to your parents before you open an email attachment or download software. Attachments sometimes contain viruses. Never open an attachment from someone you don’t know.
Don’t send or respond to mean or insulting messages. Tell your parents if you receive one. If something happens online that makes you feel uncomfortable, talk to your parents or to a teacher at school.
Many social networking websites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Second Life and MySpace) and blog hosting websites have minimum age requirements to signup. These requirements are there to protect you!
What is Bullying: Stopbullying.gov
Ten Actions Parents Can take to Eliminate Bullying: education.com
Kids Against Bullying: pacerkidsagainstbullying.org
It Gets Better Project: itgetsbetter.org
FBI Cyber Bullying Podcast: www.fbi.gov
Parents' Guide for Safe YouTube and Internet Streaming for Kids: Safetydetective.com
Facebook Safety: facebook.com/safety
Connect Safely Bullying Resources: connectsafely.org