64% of students were bullied at school in Canada. This means that they were subjected to repeated, aggressive physical, verbal, or social behavior meant to deliberately exclude someone from a group, intimidate them, or threaten their safety. This is UNWANTED and is a result of an unequal balance of power between the perpetrator and the victim.
This is devastating and has consequences both in and out of the classroom. In the classroom, 89% of Canadian teachers reported cyberbullying as the #1 concern in public schools. Out of the classroom, 73% of cyberbullying victims receive threats via texts, emails, or instant messaging (Canadian Institutes of Health Research). When this type of bullying happens via electronic technology, it’s often referred to as Cyberbullying. Some examples include:
- Bash Board: online space where people can post anonymously
- Cyberbullicide: online assisted suicide
How we can combat bullying:
We must change the way we speak: We should be positive about the world around us and be open to new people, cultures, and experiences
Show and teach empathy: Being aware of how our own feelings can impact our behavior toward a child is important. Include all students in a discussion- not just the outgoing students. Allow students to think quietly for a few minutes before answering so everyone can formulate their thoughts. Validate other people’s feelings even if you don’t agree.
Acknowledge gifted students: Gifted students are often easy targets for bullies, as quirky or nerdy behavior is interpreted as strange. These students can be misdiagnosed, which can lead to other social problems.
It’s up to all of us to put an end to cyberbullying. Remember, you don’t need to change the world; even small steps can make a big difference in a young person’s life.