What is Cyber-bullying?
Cyber-bullying is the use of Information Communications Technology (ICT), particularly mobile phones and the Internet, deliberately to upset or intimidate someone else. Technology allows the user to bully anonymously or from an unknown location, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Cyber-bullying leaves no physical scars so it is, perhaps, less evident to a parent or teacher, but it is highly intrusive and the hurt it causes can be very severe.
There are many types of cyber-bullying. Although there may be some of which we are unaware, here are the more common.
- Text messages —that are threatening or cause discomfort
- Picture/video-clips via mobile phones - images sent to others to make the target feel threatened or embarrassed
- Mobile phone calls — silent calls or abusive messages; or stealing the target’s phone and using it to harass others, to make them believe the target is responsible
- Emails — threatening or bullying emails, often sent using a pseudonym or somebody else’s name
- Chatroom bullying — menacing or upsetting responses to children or young people when they are in web-based chatroom
- Instant messaging (IM) — unpleasant messages sent while children conduct realtime conversations online using Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp or other similar apps
- Bullying via websites — use of defamatory blogs, vlogs, Youtube, personal websites and online personal “own web space”.
Kingswood Secondary Academy Procedures
We take this bullying as seriously as all other types of bullying and, therefore, will deal with each situation individually. Kingswood is a Certified School through National Online Safety and using the information gained from regular CPD students are taught within Personal Development lessons how to:
- Understand how to use these technologies safely and know about the risks and consequences of misusing them.
- Know what to do if they or someone they know are being cyber-bullied.
- Appreciate the upset, distress and unhappiness that cyber-bullying causes.
- Report any problems with cyber-bullying to teachers or parents.
Kingswood Also provides support, information and guidance on the following for parents and families:
- E-communication standards and practices in schools, what to do if problems arise, and seminars delivered through National Online Safety for families
- Gives support for parents and students if cyber-bullying occurs by: assessing the harm caused, identifying those involved, taking steps to repair harm and to prevent recurrence
- Our clear disciplinary framework for dealing with any behavioural issues. Once the person responsible for cyber-bullying has been identified, the Academy will take steps to change their attitude and behaviour as well as ensuring access to any support that is needed.
Advice to Students (whether at school or elsewhere) who are targets of cyber-bullying:
- Remember, bullying is never your fault. It can be stopped and it can usually be traced
- Don't ignore the bullying. Tell someone you trust, such as a teacher or parent, call an advice line or contact the Academy via it’s dedicated anti-bullying email address
- Try to keep calm. Don’t retaliate or return the message. If you show that you are angry, it will only make the person bullying you more likely to continue
- Don't give out your personal details online – don’t give out information about where you live, the school you go to, your email address etc. Your friends already know all of this
- Keep and save any bullying emails, text messages or images. Then these can be used as evidence
- If you can, make a note of the time and date bullying messages or images were sent, and note any details about the sender.