Friday, February 21, 2014

Cyberbullying Spot Checks

The faster you can respond to any cyberbullying campaign, the faster it stops. In addition to setting Google Alerts, which Parry recommends throughout this StopCyberbullying Toolkit, you have to keep an eye out for school groups and networks online. 

Create a profile in every one you can find. Ask students where they all are. Then just ask anyone on the list to let you in. Like buzzing a button at random at any apartment building you want to be allowed into, “buzz” the first one on the list and keep going until someone lets you in.

Sit quietly. Don’t comment or correct anyone’s grammar. But, every so often, review the posts. Select students are random and review what they and their friends are saying and follow the trail of cyber-breadcrumbs to friends outside of the network.

If you are aware of an offline bullying brewing, check those students online. Forewarned is forearmed. In the same way you will spot check lockers, backpacks, and bags brought into school or a school event, you need to do the same spot checking online.

To make sure no student is unfairly targeted, work out a procedure for spot checking and make sure everyone knows what and where to report cyberbullying when they find it. 

Get the guidance counselors involved too. If students are at risk offline, they are especially at risk online. Teach them how to keep an eye out for these students online. That’s where Googling them comes in.

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