CYBER BULLYING
‘Demystifying and Deescalating Cyber Bullying’
Barbara Trolley, Ph.D. CRC
Connie Hanel, M.S.E.d & Linda Shields, M.S.E.d.
WORKSHOP GOALS
Terminology
 Assessment Issues & Protocol
 Decision Tree
 ‘PEAS’ PROGRAM:
Psychological, Educational and Social
School Response

CYBER BULLYING IS…
Being cruel to others by sending or posting harmful
material using technological means;
an individual or group that uses
information and communication involving
electronic technologies to facilitate
deliberate and repeated harassment or
threat to an individual or group.
Also known as:
‘Electronic Bullying’ &
‘Online Social Cruelty’
CYBER BULLIES’ TECHNOLOGY
 E-mail
 Cell
phones
 Pager text messages
 Instant messaging
 Defamatory personal web sites
 Defamatory online personal polling
web sites
 Chat rooms
DIFFERENCES
BULLYING
CYBERBULLYING

DIRECT

ANONYMOUS

Occurs on
school property

Occurs off
school property

Poor relationships
with teachers

Good relationships with
teachers

Fear retribution

Fear loss of technology
privileges

Further under the radar than
bullying

Emotional reactions cannot be
determined
Physical: Hitting, Punching &
Shoving
Verbal: Teasing, Name calling &
Gossip
Nonverbal: Use of gestures &
Exclusion
www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov
{McKenna & Bargh, 2004; Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004}
CYBER BULLY CATEGORIES
“Inadvertent”
“Power-Hungry”




Role-play
Responding
May not realize it’s cyber
bullying
“Vengeful Angel”


Righting wrongs
Protecting themselves
“Mean Girls”





Bored; Entertainment
Ego based; promote own
social status
Often do in a group
Intimidate on and off line
Need others to bully; if
isolated, stop

Want reaction
Controlling with fear
“Revenge of the Nerds”
(“Subset of Power-Hungry”)



Often Victims of school-yard
bullies
Throw ‘cyber-weight’ around
Not school-yard bullies like
Power-Hungry & Mean Girls
{Parry Aftab. Esq., Executive Director, WiredSafety.org}
CYBER BULLYING TYPES

“Flaming’: Online fights using electronic
messages with angry and vulgar language

“Harassment”: Repeatedly sending offensive,
rude, and insulting messages

“Cyber stalking”: Repeatedly sending messages
that include threats of harm or are highly
intimidating. Engaging in other on-line activities
that make a person afraid for his or her own
safety

“Denigration”: ‘Dissing’ someone online.
Sending or posting cruel gossip or rumors about a
person to damage his or her reputation or
friendships
CYBER BULLYING TYPES

“Impersonation”: Pretending to be someone
else and sending or posting material online that
makes that person look bad, gets that person in
trouble or danger, or damages that person’s
reputation or friendships

“Outing and Trickery”: Sharing someone’s
secret or embarrassing information online. Tricking
someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing
information which is then shared online

“Exclusion”: Intentionally excluding someone
from an on-line group, like a ‘buddy list’
{Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D., Director of the Center for Safe and
Responsible Internet Use}
CYBER BULLYING
PREVALENCE

Cyber bullying typically starts at
about 9 years of age and usually
ends after 14 years of age; after
14, it becomes cyber or sexual
harassment due to nature of acts
and age of actors {Aftab}

Affects 65-85% of kids in the core
group directly or indirectly
through close friends (Aftab)
CYBER BULLYING
PREVALENCE
 Aftab’s






statistics:
90% of middle school students they polled had
their feelings hurt online
65% of their students between 8-14 have been
involved directly or indirectly in a cyber bullying
incident as the cyber bully, victim or friend
50% had seen or heard of a website bashing of
another student
75% had visited a website bashing
40% had their password stolen and changed by a
bully (locking them out of their own account) or
sent communications posing as them
Problems in studies: not assessing the ‘real thing’
i.e. Only 15% of parent polled knew what cyber
bullying was
CYBER BULLYING
PREVALENCE
In the 2003-04 school year, i-SAFE America surveyed students
from across the country on a new topic: Cyber Bullying
It is a topic that not many adults were talking about but one that is all
too familiar with students.

42% of kids have been bullied while online. 1 in 4 have had it happen more
than once.

35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly 1 in 5 have had it happen
more than once.

21% of kids have received mean or threatening e-mail or other messages.

58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online.
More than 4 out of 10 say it has happened more than once.

53% of kids admit having said something mean or hurtful to another person
online. More than 1 in 3 have done it more than once.

58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful
that happened to them online.
Based on 2004 i-SAFE survey of 1,500 students grades 4-8
http://www.isafe.org
CYBER BULLYING
STATISTICS
*Taken from an i-SAFE America survey of students nationwide.
CYBER BULLYING
LEGAL ISSUES
Who May Be Involved:


School Counselor
Principal

Resource Officer

Police

Attorney
School Limits:
Schools have policies against
bullying
Civil Law Limits:
Cyber bullying may also meet
standards for ‘institutional
torts’ (wrongdoings)
(School or Private)

Superintendent

Internet Service Provider
Defamation
Material that Constitutes
an Invasion of Privacy
(1st Amendment)
General (Willard, 2005)
Intentional Infliction of
Emotional Distress
CYBER BULLYING
LEGAL ISSUES
Criminal Law Limits
The following kinds of speech can lead to arrest &
prosecution:

Making threats of violence to people or their
property

Engaging in coercion

Making obscene or harassing phone calls

Harassment or stalking

Hate or bias crimes

Creating or sending sexually explicit images of
teens

Sexual exploitation

Taking a photo of someone in place where
privacy expected
General (Willard, 2005)
CYBER BULLYING
LEGAL ISSUES
‘Educator’s Guide To Cyber bullying:
Addressing the Harm of On-line Social Cruelty’
(Nancy Willard, 2005)
Law Enforcement should be contacted if
educator becomes aware of:
 Death threats or threats of other forms of violence
to a person or property

Excessive intimidation or extortion

Threats or intimidation that involve any form of
bias or discrimination

Any evidence of sexual exploitation
CYBER BULLYING
LEGAL ISSUES
‘Offsite Internet Activities and Schools’
(Copyright 2005 Parry Aftab, Esq. All rights reserved)
Conflicting decisions in regard to school’s authority with respect to
cases under state and federal jurisdictions
School should seek legal consult often beyond regular school
attorney (e.g., a constitutional or cyber-free speech lawyer)
‘Within School Authority’ Guidelines:
 Clear-cut threats
 Clearly disruptive of school discipline
 encouraged to visit website; student accesses or works on
website in school
 School owned website or school-sponsored project website
 Any proof of in-school impact (e.g., materials on grounds;
psychosocial, behavioral or academic impact on others)
 Proof the student’s website or harassment has had impact on
staff
(e.g., quits, leave of absence, medical TX for emotional issues)otherwise seek outside legal recourse
CYBER BULLYING
LEGAL ISSUES
‘What Everyone Needs to Know About
Cyber Bullying’
(Aftab)
Many cases of child cyber bullying, like adult
counterparts of cyber-harassment, not criminal
Law Enforcement needs to be aware of:



Difference between annoying and dangerous communications
How to investigate a cyber crime
How to obtain information from an ISP
CURRENT ANTI-BULLYING PROGRAMS
Traditional Program Concerns
(Fleming, Towey, Limber, Gross, Rubin, Wright & Anderson, 2002)
Zero Tolerance & “3 Strikes & Out”
Negatively impacts on willingness to report
Casts large net
Bullies need pro-social role models
Anger Management, Skill Building, Empathy Building, Self-Esteem
Enhancement
Group members serve as role models & reinforcers of bullying, anti-social
behavior
Bullies don’t need self-esteem boosted
Mediation
Appropriate in cases of equal power, not bully & victim
Parallels possible in doing mediation in domestic violence
Appropriate message to bullies: Your behavior is inappropriate, won’t be
tolerated
Message to victim: No one deserves to be bullied and we’re going to try to
stop it
CURRENT ANTI-BULLYING PROGRAMS
Articles:



“Zero Tolerance Policies Encourage ‘Lockdown Environment’ in
Schools”(Fuentes, 2003)
“One Strike and You’re Out of School” (Joiner, 2004)
Youthful suicide, financial ruin, families torn apart for minor infractions.:
How post Columbine hysteria is wrecking lives
“Every Child is Worth Saving” (http://endzeroltolerance.com)
Additional Lists of Articles & Commentaries

‘News” (http://www.jlc.org/EZT/News/default/html?id=Jan05)
Summary
Children taught to not fight back
Frequently have adults such as teachers ‘protect’ them
Those being bullied often want friends or are fearful so don’t ‘narc’
Having been bullied, may have poor self-esteem
All involved in cyber bullying not caught, assessed or disciplined
Adults may be seemingly unresponsive
…..retaliation on-line
CURRENT CYBER BULLYING
PROGRAMS & RESONSES
(Aftab, PowerPoint communication)
PROGRAM OFFERINGS:

Teenangels.org: trains teens & preteens to be part of solution

WiredKids and WiredTeens” programs for schools and
communities

Wiredsafety.org: one to one hotline and multiple resources
Videos, Lesson Plans and Activities

Parent and Community Programs

Law enforcement training and briefings

Local county level summits on cyber bullying

Assistance on technological software & tools to help
CURRENT CYBER BULLYING
PROGRAMS & RESPONSES
What Everyone Needs to Know About
Cyber bullying’ (Aftab)
Education of Children:
 All actions have consequences
 Cyber bullying hurts
 They are just being used and manipulated by
cyber bully
 Cyber bully and accomplices often become the
target of cyber bullying themselves
 Care about others and stand up for what’s right
CURRENT CYBER BULLYING
PROGRAMS & RESPONSES
Comprehensive Plan (Willard, 2005)
Schools
 Policies concerning misuse of technology
 Evaluate how staff is and can more effectively
monitor Internet use
Parents
 Discuss cyber bullying
 Supervise and increase effective monitoring of
Internet use
Since more adults supervise, more children will hide
activities, strategies needed to change social norms
in these on-line works, empower the victim with
knowledge how to prevent & respond, & to
discourage bullies from engaging in such activities
CURRENT CYBER BULLYING
PROGRAMS & RESPONSES
Schools should:
 Focus on values of kindness and
respectful human relations
 Enhancement of empathic awareness
 Develop effective problem solving
skills
 Empowerment of bystanders
CURRENT CYBER BULLYING
ASSESSMENT
(Willard, 2005)
Specific Step Wise Plan:
1 Engage in participatory planning {Integrate into Safe Schools. District
Technology Awareness; Non-school Participants}
2 Conduct needs assessment {Assessment available at Center for Safe
& Responsible Internet Use}
3 Ensure that an effective anti--bullying program in place {core not
authoritarian values; predictive empathy; peer norms vs. bullying; peer
intervention skills, effective administrative responses}
4 Review policies & Procedures {Monitoring, report box, internet &
other technological pp}
5 Conduct Professional Development {key individual sophisticated in
the area; all administrators, librarians, counselors and technology
educators basic understanding; all other staff alerted to existence, how
to detect}
6 Provide Parent Education {prevention, detection & intervention
strategies; alert child to potential consequences of school discipline, loss
of family account, civil litigation, criminal prosecution}
7 Evaluate {prevention & intervention programs}
CURRENT CYBER BULLYING
PROGRAMS & RESPONSES
Intervention Strategies for Cyber bullying Directed at Student
1-Save the evidence
2-Conduct a threat assessment {if cyber bullying poses substantial
disruption, violence or suicide concerns; contact law enforcement if
threats of violence}
3-Assesss response options {direct school nexus may warrant
school disciplinary action; if off campus and not substantial threat,
no disciplinary action but help victim}
4-Identify the Perpetrators {technical assistance; assess validity of
person’s identity; offer technical assistance to parents}
5-Supprt the victim {even if no disciplinary action, offer support
and assistance to victim and parents; offer counseling mediation,
technical assistance; direct to community resources}
6-Provide guidance on how to remove the speech
7-Seek to use informal resolution strategies {contact perpetrator
parents, offer assistance, suggest legal consultation; offer
counseling, mediation in school; recognize the cyber bully is a hurt
kid and try to help both victim and perpetrator
Intervention Strategies for Cyber bullying Directed at Staff
1- Assess Type of Speech
2- Take action based on assessment
CURRENT CYBER
BULLYING ASSESSMENT
What Everyone Needs to Know About Cyber bullying’
(Aftab)
Assessment to differentiate between ‘rude
communications’ and ‘cyber bullying’:
1234-
Kind of Threats
Frequency of Threat
Source of Threats
Nature of the Threats
… The more frequent, the greater the threat, the mention of
more dangerous methods & the involvement of third parties
tends to increase the seriousness of the threat
Knowing the cyber bully may increase or decrease the threat
ASSESSMENT TREE
{‘PEAS’ PROGRAM}
Cyber Bully Incident Report
Complete report & collect evidence
Assessment
Domains
Family
School
Social
Multiple
Factors
Risk vs.
Resiliency
Informants
Parents
Teachers
Students
Administrators
Methods
Interview
Collateral info
Assess. Forms
Standardized Instr.
(SAVRY)
Dispositions
Contacts
Parents
Administration
Police
Disciplinary
Detention
Suspension
Expulsion
Arrest
Ongoing Prevention
Therapeutic
PEAS Program
Family Support Ctr.
Outside Counseling
Residential Treatment
CYBER BULLYING ASSESSMENT
{‘PEAS’ PROGRAM}
ASSESSMENT:






Interview & Evidence Gathering
Collateral Information/Evidence Collection
Cyber Bully Assessments
Student Form
School Counselor Form
Standardized Instruments {SAVRY}
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DISPOSITION:
Disciplinary
Detention
Suspension
Expulsion
Therapeutic
Outside Counseling
‘PEAS’ Program:
Psychological Educational Social School Response
‘PEAS’ PROGRAM
Psychological-Educational-And-Social
‘P’-PSYCHOLOGICAL:
1. Outside Counseling Referral
2. Family Support Center Referral
3. In-School Counseling
4. Anger Management group
5. Peer Mediation & Conflict Resolution {cyber bullies}
6. Apology & Impact Statement
7. ‘On-Line Safe Box’
‘PEAS’ PROGRAM
Psychological-Educational-And-Social
‘E’-EDUCATIONAL:
1. CURRICULUM INFUSION
ELA Assignments-
Social Studies
Technology
Art
Movie Documentary
Book/Movie Review/Report
Poem/Short Story/Song
Writing a play/paper
Watch Movie ‘Inbox’ and discuss impact/develop program
Review of People in History who were bullied
Mock trial regarding injustices/victimization
Use/Misuses
Safety Review
Develop Positive Websites
Anti-Cyber bullying posters
‘Cyber Bullying Curriculum’ (Nancy Willard)
‘PEAS’ PROGRAM
Psychological-Educational-And-Social
‘E’-EDUCATIONAL: Continued
2. PEER MATCHING:
Higher/lower grade reading, tutor
Higher/lower grade play production
Higher/lower grade cyber bully {‘recovered’/’charged’}
Pen Pals
Extracurricular Activities (match cyber bullyer/ee)
3. SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES:
High school student small group discussion
on impact/consequences of cyber bullying/being cyber bullied
Lawyer to discuss possible legal consequences/
Former student, possibly at the high school, involved in cyber
bullying, and/or legally charged for cyber bullying
Current Teacher/Administrator/Parent involved in cyber bullying
‘PEAS’ PROGRAM
Psychological-Educational-And-Social
‘E’-EDUCATIONAL: Continued
4. DEVELOPMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS:
5. PARENT EDUCATION:
Uses/Misuses of Technology
Supervision Strategies
6. SCHOOL STAFF IN-SERVICES:
Types
Assessment
Responses
Program Evaluation
‘PEAS’ PROGRAM
Psychological-Educational-And-Social
‘S’-SOCIAL:
1. EXTRACURRICULAR/PROJECTS:
Intramural/Projects between Classes Beyond Sports
Homework Completion & Pizza Party
Fundraising & Award/Rewards
School Socials
Plays on Topic
Art contest
School/Community Newspaper article
Visit to Foster care/geriatric settings
2. DRESS POLICY:
Dress Code - Decrease Comparisons & Possibility of ‘Deviant Dress’
3. PEER MATCHING:
Higher/lower grade reading, tutor
Higher/lower grade play production
Higher/lower grade cyber bully {‘recovered’/’charged’}
Pen Pals
Extracurricular Activities (match cyber bullyer/ee)
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
A Need For:

A better understanding of what cyber bullying is

Addressing appropriate computer protocol and specifically cyber bullying via the schools’ clearly
defined and systematically implemented AUP so that schools can provide intervention even in
instances that occur outside of school

Clearer delineation of school responsibility in responding to incidents, especially off school grounds

Clearer school policies and action plans; increased continuity in implementing school responses

Increased assessment of incidents and those involved

Decision making regarding the cyber bully and the individual being cyber bullied based on:
A decision tree protocol
Assessment process

Systematic, therapeutic responses, not isolated disciplinary reactions

Integration of educational, psycho-social interventions

Inclusion of prevention measures that are comprehensive and systemic in approach

Communication among students, counselors, teachers, administrators, parents & community

Individualized responses, with understanding that a wide degree of variation exists in motivation

Change needs to come from all levels and grades:
Individual
Classroom
School culture

Victimization often occurs with both the person being cyber bullied and the cyber bully

Important to ‘not throw the baby out with the bathwater’…
Our children are not disposable!
THE END
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CYBER BULLYING - West Virginia Department of …