CREVE COEUR — More middle schoolers are getting their hands on smart phones, using Facebook and texting, and access to technology is making cyberbullying a problem nation wide. Parkview Middle School is taking action against it.
For students at Parkview Middle School, cyberbullying is not tolerated.
Principal Brad Jockisch said in a learning environment, school is the only thing he wants his students to worry about. “It’s like any form of bullying. I mean if you do not feel safe if you’re worried about negative things, that’s going to impact your learning,” he said.
Statistics show that more than half of middle school students admit to doing something hurtful to another person online, but one thing is helping to change that.
The Center for Prevention of Abuse School Programming Supervisor Jeanne Anders said the education component is doing its job. “The good news is that with bullying prevention education, children really understand how they make someone feel when they’re bullying someone this way. They do think twice before participating in this,” Anders said.
She said 90 percent of cyberbullying happens between girls.
She says she has seen some pretty hurtful stuff. Much of it is personal attacks, often having to do with body image and looks.
But unlike plain, old bullying, when it’s digital, the school has proof.
Jockish said, “We reinforce it with there can be consequences. If you do something on Friday night, there may be consequences when you come to school on Monday morning.”
If you’re looking for help for your child, we have tips from the Center for Prevention of Abuse.
1) Understand what cyberbullying is and what it means.
2) Teach your child appropriate social skills for online communication.
3) Remind your children not to give out their personal infomration online without your permission.
4) Set age-appropriate boundaries for your child when it comes to online usage and communication.
5) Create open and honest relationships with your children so they feel comfortable coming to you when questions or problems arise.
6) Don’t punish your child if she or he is the target of an online bullying incident – cutting of your child’s internet access will not solve the problem.
1) STOP – Do not respond to the person if you are being bullied online as it will only make it worse.
2) BLOCK – Do not open emails or messages from someone you know bullies others.
3) TELL – Tell an adult you trust about the cyber bullying incident. Save or print bullying messages.
4) Refuse to cyber bully or let others be cyber bullied. Do not forward any inappropriate messages, posts or pictures.
5) Treat people online the same way you would in person – if it’s not OK to say something in person, it’s not OK to say it online.