We all know that bullying is a serious problem nation-wide and has been exposed to the affects it has on students, parents and teachers. But do we fully understand cyberbullying and how technology and the immediate and continuous connectivity and access it provides changes how we monitor and address the issue?
Cyberbullying is ‘bullying someone by using computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices to send abusive or threatening messages, spread rumors, or post embarrassing images.’ (source: Facts on Cyber-Bullying – Charles County Department of Health).
Research shows that 9 out of 10 teens ages 13-17 use social media platforms and most (71%) use more than one (source: actforyouth.net) and 95% of teens have access to a Smartphone, and 45% say they are online ‘almost constantly’ (source: Pew Research Center).
Technology now allows students to bully anonymously, makes it even more difficult for parents to identify the source of their child’s behavioral changes, and prevents teachers from seeing it happen.
During Antibullying Week, North Point addressed the issue by asking students to wear orange, listened to antibullying videos during the morning announcement that told us to “not let someone steal our joy,” and provided a “Facts on Bullying & Cyberbullying” brochure and pencil.
We dug a little deeper by asking North Point students and parents to share their anti-cyberbullying strategies:
North point student, Briana Deas, class of 2021, says “Social media widens the audience of bullying and the overall effects by providing a bigger platform and a longer withstanding insult or form of harassment. With that being said, it’s harder to ignore especially if it follows you outside of social media. To deal with it, you must tackle the problem at hand, but you also have to know yourself and not let what people say get to you.”
North Point parent, Lacey Blank, says “Open communication about the importance of respecting and understanding others and building trust with your child so they know they can come to you is key. In addition, sharing the permanent and lasting affect it may have on future college and employment opportunities.”
If you’re being bullied, make sure you notify your parent and the school administration and complete a Harassment and Intimidation Reporting Form online at