Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Protecting your kids from a cyber bully

Go to the link below to see the video.

When talking to a 2nd grade class, I asked them how many of them had been cyberbullied or knew someone that had...
1/2 raised their hand.

So, I asked each kid and they had a legitimate scenario. Not good!

We talked about how to spot, block, and stop cyberbullying.

The 2nd grade class also took a pledge to never cyberbully and to report it to an adult if they see or hear about it.

WBTV Video:
Protecting your kids from a cyber bully - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC-

Test Your Cyber Bully Awareness:
1. If your child is a victim of cyber bullying, your kid now has an increased risk for traditional bullying, substance use,
school and social problems.

Answer: True

2. Most victims of cyber bullying tell an adult (parent or teacher) about their experience.

Answer: False. In a recent study by Wired Safety, only 5% told an adult.

3. Most victims of cyber bullying are bullied by a stranger.

Answer: False. Only 6.5% of kids during a recent survey said they were bullied by a stranger.

4. Cyber bullying is mostly happening to boys.

Answer: False. Both boys and girls are being bullied online.

5. Which of the following can be considered "cyber bullying"?

A. Harassing text messages

B. Posting mean web messages

C. Sending or posting embarrassing pictures of someone else without their permission

D. Threatening someone on MySpace, Facebook, or another site

E. All of the above

Answer: E. All of the above

6. If your kid is being bullied online, you should tell them to

A. Turn off the phone and/or sign off the chatroom or instant message conversation

B. Tell you or another adult

C. Block the bully's accounts

D. Ignore the bully

E. Any or All of the above

Answer: E. Any or All of the above are appropriate

7. You should not call Law Enforcement if someone threatens your kid's safety online.

Answer: False. You should call the police if someone threatens your kid's safety, asks for a face to face meeting,
or asks your kid to do something that breaks the law

8. If your child is bullied online, you should delete everything said to your kid. The messages are just too disturbing!

Answer: False. You should collect this evidence in case it is needed for action at the school or with law enforcement.
Examples include: instant messaging logs, emails, voicemail and text messages, and screenshots or prints of offending web posts.

Family Safety Pledge:

Remember to include a "No Bullying" Policy in your family safety pledge.
Ask your kids to refrain from bullying others and ask them to tell you if someone bullies them.

Have a family discussion asking your child to alert you if someone is mean to them online.
Promise them you will decide together how to handle it.

Here are 5 tips to BLOCK the bullies:

B: Block the bully's account from your email, online chat, and instant messaging.

L: Look for signs such as strange reactions to text messages or avoiding going online.

O: Obscene or harassing messages that also include physical threats should be reported to law enforcement. Provide copies of the messages for evidence.

C: Contact your school if it is from another student. Consider contacting the bully's parents.

K: Keep your home computer in an open space so you can monitor activity. 70% of teens that have been cyber bullied said they received the message at home.

Suggestions for Blocking Bullies:

Social Sites:

If the bullying is occurring on MySpace or Facebook, contact those service providers.
They have handled complaints of bullying before and may be able to remove the offensive remarks.

Cell Phone:

If the bullying is occurring via text messages, talk to your cell phone provider about blocking the bully's address.


If the bullying happens via email, most email services will allow you to block a specific email address.

Signs that Your Child May Be a Victim of Bullying:

Your child becomes withdrawn.
Obsession with being online or offline that does not match usual patterns.
Compulsive secrecy about their phone and email messages.
Suggestions for Your Kids' School:

Most schools have a zero tolerance bullying policy; ask them to include cyber bullying

Provide newsletter coverage for parents on the matter
Teach the concept in the classroom about how to spot and report cyber bullying
Other Resources:

Online Safety Tips: http://ilookbothways.com/
National Crime Prevention Center: www.ncpc.org
www.McGruff.org offers online games to help teach your kids how to spot and report cyber bullying
Information about what to do if your kid is a victim:


  1. WOW! That is very eye opening that half of 2nd graders were either cyber bullied or knew someone. It shows the importance of educating parents so they know how to talk to their kids.

    Thanks for sharing this.