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Cyberbullying can take many forms. Compared to traditional bullying, which is typically confined to the neighborhood or school, cyberbullying may seem even more powerful because it can invade a child's life that was once considered private. No place and no time are off limits to cyberbullying. Children and teens can receive threatening e-mails, cruel IMs or texts can arrive at any time day or night. Some wake up to find angry or humiliating texts on their phone. This type of bullying can occur 24/7. It can feel that no place is safe anymore to a child being cyberbullied.

 

Cyberbullying:

Most cyberbulling involving kids and teens is done by their peers and occurs as early as 2nd grade. Cyberbullying takes many forms, with the most common being:

  • sending insulting or threatening emails, texts, or instant messages directly to someone using a computer, cell phone or other e-communication device.
  • spreading hateful comments about someone through emails, blogs, online profiles or chat rooms.
  • stealing passwords and sending out threatening messages using a false identity
  • building a Web site targeting specific people

85% of middle school children report being cyberbullied at least once

32% of American teens who use the Internet report some form of online harassment

In a recent study, 72% of participants, ages 12-17, claimed they knew who was doing the cyberbullying. 

 

New Jersey State Law:

Electronic communication is added to the definition of bullying, and schools may discipline when acts disrupt school.  (Sec. 18A: 37-14 (2007))

In 2008, New Jersey became one of the first states to address a cyberbullying policy for college and university students.

 

Why Good Kids Act Cruel: The Hidden Truth about the Pre-Teen Years by Carly Pickhardt, PhD  (2010)
"Early adolescence is a phase of anxiety, uncertainty and insecurity. To make matters worse, although all kids are going through the same transformation, none of them share what it is like, each feeling alone, isolated and unique. The result is that even fantastic kids will do and say harmful things." Carl Pickhardt. This book discusses social cruelty, early adolescence, teasing, exclusion, bullying, rumoring, ganing up, what the school can do and the gifts of adversity.
 
Teen Cyberbullying Investigated: Where Do Your Rights End and Consequences Begin? by Judge Tom Jacobs ( Thomas Jacobs, JD has served as Arizona Assistant Attorney General, a Superior Court Juvenile Division judge, a family court judge, and an adjunct professor at the Arizona State Univ School of Social Work. )  This book discusses the rights of free speech and privacy in the Internet age.  Learn what cyberbulling is and what you can do about it. Cyberbullying includes:
  • spreading harassing emails, voicemails, texts or IM's to someone
  • spreading hateful comments online about someone
  • stealing passwords and sending threatening messages using a false identity
  • building a Web site to target specific people
 
 
www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov    Stop Bullying Now!
You may be getting bullied or maybe you are the bully. Either way the bullying needs to stop. With animated podcasts and games, this site has a lot of information about why kids bully and what to do about it if you see it, feel it or do it.
 
Where to get Immediate Help:
 
If you are currently dealing with cyberbullying and need help right away, talk to a parent, teacher, counselor, or other trusted adult. Or contact one of these resources:
 
Wired Safety Online
www.wiredsafety.org
Click on the "cyberstalking, Cyberbullying and Cyberabuse Helpline" and follow the instruction to obtain help.
 
CyberMentors
www.cybermentors.org.uk
Click on the "Get Help Now" and follow the instruction to obtain help.
 
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
www.loveisrespect.org
Call 1-866-331-9474 anytime or chat online 4pm-12am CST. All calls and chats are anonymous and confidential.
 
National Sexual Assault Online Helpline
www.rainn.org
a free confidential secure service that provides live online help. Or call directly 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
 
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call 911

 

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Books on Cyberbullying:

Goodstein, Anastasia.  Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens Are Really Doing Online  (NY, 2007)

 

 

 

Websites:

Stop Bullying Now:  stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov      The Stop Bullying Now! website is partnered with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and more than 70 other organizations to increase awareness about bullying. Look under What Adults Can Do: All about Bullying_ Cyberbullying

 

 

IM Safety Tips

What you write or draw may be copied and pasted, or forwarded to others.

Don't talk to strangers online. Never list your last name, address, telephone number or name of your school.

Use a neutral screen name that won't attract predators, "sexy", "hunk" and "hottie" are not recommended.

Refrain from gossiping and trashtalking - it may backfire on you.

Avoid a computer virus by using caution when clicking on links to strangers' profiles. 

 

Internet Safety Tips:

Limit your time online.

Protect your password and limit your friend list to those you know.

Think before you click. What you post online is there forever.

Don't post a photo of yourself unless you're prepared to attach it to a job, college or scholarship application.

Use caution when corresponding with people online. They may not be who they say they are. 

 

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