Saturday, February 01, 2014

What About When Students Cyberbully Teachers and School Admins?

We typically talk about students being victimized by their peers when we discuss cyberbullying. And, we have fought hard to limit the term "cyberbullying" to attacks orchestrated against minors by their peers, while reserving "cyberharassment" for adults. But, whatever we call it, students targeting their teachers and school administrators online is a growing and serious problem.

Yet, unlike cases of teacher-abuse by students and school physical safety issues, this problem is often ignored. Too often, teachers are instructed to "suck it up" or "ignore it." That's the last thing they should do.
Safety is safety and when teachers and students are involved, it is a school safety issue just as much as weapons, fist-fighting and larceny are.

All schools and boards of education should have a teacher and school administrator safety plan, that addresses digital abuse, identity theft, impersonation and cyberstalking. And students and their parents should be informed of the rules and consequences for breaking those rules. And, those rules have to be enforced.

It's hard enough being a teacher these days with increasing class sizes, school closings, budget cutbacks and being expected to be the parent, the ethics instructor and the teacher of your students. But, you have ot be safe and know that your physical and emotional safety is a priority.

Helping stop cyberbullying among students cannot be accomplished in a vacuum. It takes a #stopcyberbullying ecosystem, which includes everyone's safety, self-respect and respect for others. If your school doesn't have a cyberharassment of teachers, staff and school administrator policy, ask for one. If you're not sure where to start, visit and let us know.