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Online bullying: How to keep your pupils safe online

Online cyberbullying is constantly changing, read about how you can help keep your pupils safer online

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This week (Monday 13th – Friday 17th November 2017) is Anti-Bullying Week, organised by Anti-Bullying Alliance. The theme — All Different, All Equal — highlights the importance of diversity and equality. In response, we’re posting a series of articles about how to keep your pupils safe from online bullying.

We have partnered up with Bullies Out this week to join together and support Anti-Bullying week. Bullies Out provides help, training, support and information to individuals, schools, youth and community settings affected by bullying. Promethean are very proud to be supporting Anti-Bullying week with Bullies Out because online technology and online bullying having such a strong link.

The definition of ‘online bullying’ is using information and communication technologies to display deliberate, repeated and hostile behaviour to hurt, harass or harm others.

Technology is progressing all the time therefore we see changes in attitudes and behaviour, cyberbullying is an area that is constantly changing.

Social networking sites, messaging apps and gaming sites can be great fun and a positive experience. But what can pupils do when things go wrong? Children in this day and age are constantly switched-on in a socially connected world. Social media represents a new model of relationship for today’s generation, where global connection is the norm. Today’s young people have been born into a world of advanced technology, which is not only normal but an expected right. The right and ability to use technology manifests itself in a myriad of ways, far outstripping the uses of most adults, with young people communicating, socialising, networking and creating through, with and because of, technology. But with rights come responsibilities. Parents and educators afford and promote the use of technology, often neglected are the responsibilities that must come in tandem with these rights.

Technology is amazing but is also easily abused and misused, teachers can help ensure their pupils are using technology safely and respectfully. Technologies are extremely useful and particularly help pupils to learn, play and connect with others. Problems occur when pupils do not understand the consequences of using the technologies and fail to use them with respect.

The recent rise of cyberbullying incidents highlights the dangerous and harmful ways in which technologies can be manipulated to harass or degrade others. As technology has become more accessible and embedded in daily life, many children/teenagers have rapidly found themselves dealing with the fallout of abuse and misuse of the internet, mobile phones and more.

Potentially, vast numbers of people can witness a cyberbullying incident take place. The relatively new phenomenon of something ‘going viral’ describes the way in which the internet can be used to spread an act of bullying to thousands of people. The media is full of high profile cases of young people taking their own lives after suffering from cyberbullying and the spreading of their humiliation. This is a clear indicator of just how dangerous cyber-bullying can be.

We are all different, yet all equal – cyberbullying is a big NO! If your pupil is being cyber bullied, it needs to be clear that they can confide in their teacher or parents. Check out our top tips on what teachers should tell their pupils on how to stay safe online.