Cyberbullying Prevention Program
Cyberbullying is online social cruelty. It has increased significantly since Covid-19. About one in four adolescents experience cyberbullying. The harm can be permanent and includes anxiety, shame, depression and suicide.
It’s a challenging form of bullying because it usually occurs off school grounds and traditional remedies often don’t work for cyberbullying. Safe Schools’ approach is to train older high school students to tackle the problem from within. They educate classmates and younger students in what to do if they see or experience cyberbullying.
Why do we ask students to take the lead and not teachers? Compared to most adults, students are cyberbullying experts. They live it and see it, they understand the technology and social context, and they’re in the best position to help. They also have social influence with their peers. The educational message is stronger when it comes from another student, especially an older one. Peer influence is powerful.
Cyberbullying begins in middle school. When a team of high school students talks to younger students, it makes a strong impression. Parents and teachers can certainly help but they can’t do it in the same way and they don’t use the same language.
Here is some of what the student teams will learn:
Dr. Meghan McCoy, a bullying expert at the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University, advises and supports this program. Download CV.