Other PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Topics
Overview of PD & CE Most Commonly Requested PD Workshops • Bullying Prevention
Selection Criteria for Effective PD on Bullying & BiasKey Topics for Anti-Bullying PD
PD as a Component in Comprehensive Anti-Bullying Programming
Diversity Awareness •Bullying FAQsCyber Bullying • Relational Bullying
Bias-Based Bullying • Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity
CE/PD for Medical & Social Service Providers

CYBERBULLYING

Cyberbullying can be far more devastating than the direct forms of verbal and physical bullying most adults remember from their childhoods. Our youth today have grown up with digital communications technology; it is as much a part of their lives as the automobile is for most adults. Most adults, knowing that they could have an auto accident, still choose to drive because we have to be able to move long distances quickly to live effectively in our modern world. The possibility of an accident is simply a fact of life we feel we cannot avoid. Even those of us who have had auto accidents usually continue to drive, because giving up our cars would mean giving up our lives as we know them. Cell phones and computers play a similar role in the lives of our youth. Their electronic connections are vital to their lives as they know them. Asking youth to give up their cell phones or turn off their computers to avoid being cyberbullied is akin to asking most adults to give up their cars to avoid having an accident.

Cyberbullying is potentially far more devastating than traditional bullying for several reasons. First of all, it is 24/7. A child tormented by a playground bully or a bully on their school bus can run home, close the door, and breathe a sigh of relief that they are safe from persecution at least until the bus arrives again the next morning. Cyberbullying has no geographic or temporal boundaries; it exists inside and outside school, inside and outside the home. Any time that child or teen reads their accumulated txt or e-mail messages, or surfs the web doing research for a school project they might suddenly find themselves face to face with a message or image created by someone to threaten, humiliate, or offend them.

Even if an individual chose not to turn on their computer or read their messages, they would not be safe from cyberbully because much cyberbullying is indirect.