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Cyberbullying: The 24/7 Problem You Can Help Solve

Is Cyberbullying on the rise?

Yes. Bullying which takes place using electronic technology, including cell phones, computers and tablets, is on the rise. A recent study of 16,000 teenagers in 17 Boston suburban public schools found that the incidences of cyberbullying increased 10 percent between 2006 2012, while face-to-face bullying declined 3 percent. Increased cyberbullying was most pronounced among female students. This study, which will be published in the September Journal of School Health, echoes what NEA members from across the country have been telling us.

Why is Cyberbullying so pernicious?

Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It can reach a young person even when he or she is alone in their room at home. It can be even more relentless than in-person bullying. The popularity of smartphones and social media sites, particularly ones like Snapchat, which allow messages to disappear, have made it easier for students to harass other students.

How pervasive is Cyberbullying?

It has been estimated that 20- 25 percent of adolescents have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phone or the Internet. Cyberbullying starts in elementary school; picks up steam in middle school, and hits its peak in high school.

What are the effects of Cyberbullying?

All forms of bullying can have a serious impact on a child or young person’s well-being. The bullied student can suffer physical and/or psychological harm, which can result in that student withdrawing from family or friends, growing more and more despondent, missing school, and falling behind in their studies. Cyberbullying, like all forms of bullying, is a health and education hazard.  

Can educators play a role in preventing cyberbullying?

Yes, but it’s not easy. If the bullied student feels comfortable enough with you, the educator, to report being cyberbullied, then you can reassure the student and take action. There is a free tool kit for educators that we recommend—A Cyberbullying Tool Kit: Standing Up, Not Standing By. It was produced by Common Sense Media.

Please Remember: We educate the kids who are cyberbullied. One caring adult can make all the difference in that student’s life by listening and reassuring the student he or she is not alone, and then by becoming the bullied student’s advocate. Take the NEA Bully Free: It Starts With Me Pledge.

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It’s time to create a bully-free nation. We’ve got the research and the resources. Now it is time to act. Take the pledge now.

  • Bullyfree Poster in Spanish

what do you say to 'that's so gay'?

A resource for those who support LGBTQ and gender nonconforming youth.
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