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Cyberbullying has the ability to have an effect on students because it disrupts the instructional process, creates a toxic atmosphere, and jeopardizes students' feelings of safety and emotional well-being at school. Cyberbullying has been implicated in recent youth suicides, but the universal essence of bullying activity, which can infiltrate a youth's life both online and in school, makes it impossible to separate the positions and duties of teachers, parents, and social networking websites (O'Keeffe, Schurgin, and Kathleen, 802). Therefore, schools, parents, and social networking sites need to collaborate to prevent online victimization and encourage digital citizenship. School based efforts can inform and support the education and outreach efforts of social networking sites. Cyberbullying substantially impacts the school environment particularly for girls and students with disabilities (Smith, Peter K., et al 381). However the scope and severity of the problem is unclear due to lack of reporting and the fact that most cyberbullying is not visible on school campuses. Therefore, the is need for legislators to pass anti-bullying legislation that will mobilize school district personnel to develop more systematic and comprehensive prevention and intervention efforts and increased awareness of the seriousness of this growing problem.
Schools districts needs to create plans to improve and expand anti-bullying curriculum across all grade levels and enhance policies and procedures for addressing cyberbullying. Schools can educate staff and engage parents in anti-bullying efforts to help in dealing with the incidents (Smith, Peter K., et al 381). Besides, schools can focus on the efforts of social networking sites to prevent and intervene in cyberbullying incidents. This is realizable through incorporating online strategies into anti-bullying plans. Such plans will include a need for up to date resources from social media sites on online prevention strategies and guidance on how schools can incorporate the positive use of social media into educational efforts.
Parents can play an important role in addressing the issue of cyberbullying. Parents can take the responsibility to talk and listen to their children when they are cyberbullied. They need to work closely with the school to collect evidence, seek counselling and implement measures to prevent cyberbullying from reoccurring. As a result, parents can make sure that their children feel safe at all times. In case when a parent realizes that their child cyberbully others, the parent need to acknowledge the issue and remain calm. This will create room for investigations to understand the root of the problem and stop the bullying by making children understand how targets feel.
In conclusion, it is evident that cyberbullying on social media among students is a problem that schools and parents need to collaborate to address. The occurrences of cyberbullying can have serious implications on the lives of students and make students lose perspective of who they are thus leading to suicide, violence and school dropout. Schools need to address the issue of cyberbullying because of the increase in technology use and instances of cyberbullying by implementing prevention strategies that address the problem. Schools can tackle the issue of cyberbullying by working collaboratively with school counselling centers and counsellors in other community agencies. Counsellors can help schools to develop prevention measures such as developing a center for violence prevention and intervention brochures, posters, and Web page announcements about cyberbullying. School officials can also put in place intervention strategies such as providing counselling to victims and perpetrators and holding group counselling sessions to help students cope with incidents.
O'Keeffe, Gwenn Schurgin, and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson. "The impact of social media on children, adolescents, and families." Pediatrics 127.4 (2011): 800-804.
Smith, Peter K., et al. "Cyberbullying: Its nature and impact in secondary school pupils." Journal of child psychology and psychiatry 49.4 (2008): 376-385.
Suler, John. "The online disinhibition effect." Cyberpsychology & behavior 7.3 (2004): 321-326.
(Suler and John, 324)
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