Random Thoughts

Facebook, Privacy, and Cyber bullying

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Just returning from a full day of thinking and teaching starting with Saturday school and talking to some students who got in trouble for cyber bullying on Facebook. I love getting the opportunity to talk to students about their social world and continue to find it fascinating on their views of what they consider “their world”.

My wife, being the school counselor, had the job of teaching Saturday school today and together we came up with a plan that we hoped was A) Educational B) Not so fun….after all this is Saturday school.

I only had the opportunity to spend an hour with the students before I had to run off to teach the COETAIL grad course for teachers here at ISB.

I started the morning off by talking about privacy, having the students try and define it (harder than you might think) and then talk about what’s private on Facebook. Then helping them to understand that nothing is private on the Internet….nothing. I had them do some researching on the Internet and two students found sites that even talked about “How to hack a Facebook account and see peoples wall without being their friend.” (I refuse to link to the site). The students found that shocking, and the more we talked the more shocked they seemed to be. At the end of our little chat their assignment was to write either a blog post or a paper with at least three recent resources on either privacy on facebook or cyber bullying. Most students chose to write a paper as I think the idea of putting this on their blogs was a little…embarrassing….fair enough!

After I left, my wife took over and doing the counselor thing had them reflect even deeper about cyber bullying by putting them in small groups and reading some of the letters from this great book: Letters to a Bullied Girl . According to my wife their discussions about bullying were pretty deep and meaningful and many of them talked about how they had never thought about it before, but how easy it was to slip into being a bully on the Internet. They also took a look at the middle school Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and had a conversation around what it meant and why some of the ideas in the AUP were there to begin with. The saddest part of the day for me looking back is why it it only our students who already got in trouble that are getting this message and are we doing enough to teach kids before they reach Saturday school? Something I’m taking with me Monday to work!

The real fascination for me came when I asked the students if they were friends with someone in real life could they not be friends with them on Facebook? You would have thought I was joking by the looks on their faces. Three students spoke up and all said the same thing….”No Way!” That there is a social obligation to be Facebook friends with someone if you are friends in real life and not “friending” them on Facebook would be the same as saying “we’re not friends”.

This is the lives of our students, a world where there is an obligation to be virtual friends with your real friends. An obligation to be on Facebook and be “cool” there as well. This is their social world, and middle schoolers are developmentally in a place that is all about fitting in, being social, and belonging. That’s what is important in their lives, not school, not their homework, but their social lives. As one middle school teacher I was talking to explained “No matter how engaging our lessons are we can not compete with their social lives, they are, at this age all about finding out who they are and belonging.”

At one point today, these students who were there to learn and reflect and were in trouble, were still caught chatting on Facebook in the background by my wife. Here are students, in trouble, writing papers on cyber bullying and still need? crave? want? that social connection.

There’s a part of me that feels sad for them….as I think back on my own Jr. High years and that sense of wanting to fit in, in being “normal” and how much more pressure must be on them in these virtual places that I for one never had to deal with. When I got home….I could relax, not think about it, but now there is this obligation that you’ll be on Facebook, that you’ll be social, even in your house…that’s a lot of pressure to “always be on” for a 13 year old…..honestly….one I’m glad I never had.

There is a social pressure within these students that I honestly do not thing any of us can understand. The more I watch, listen, and interact with students today the more I’m realizing this social pressure that is on them and wondering as an educational community how do we help them, when it is so foreign to all of us? How do we help them mange these connections, use them in powerful ways, and protect themselves and their friends all while allowing them to be social where they need to be? I’m struggling with this and I’m the one that’s suppose to have the answers for parents and teachers and schools on how to handle this. I’m just not sure that we as a society are ready to handle these new social norms that we really don’t understand and for many people are so scary, or foreign that it’s easy to pretend they don’t exist and say “I hate Facebook” then to approach it with an open mind and concept for what’s new.

Privacy, Safety, Bullying….it’s a whole new world out there that I’m trying hard to understand.

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Thank you Jeff for raising this important social issue, and through a personal experince as well. Like many other issued in our modern (or should we say post modern)and dizzying world, the need for socialization is intensified through the techlogical opportunities we own. It worsen one’s personal emotional and mental stress, a thing that has the power to threaten the mental equilibrium of the youngsters.

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  3. I am a student at a high school that was required to read this blog in an advanced computer class. This article directly attacks and points out cyber bullying. I feel like this Saturday class was a good class to have but it should not only take place for people who get in to some sort of trouble. This class and the lessons taught should be taught daily and to every student to get the point across that cyber bullying can leave a more hurtful impact on a persons life. Pictures could be taken, words could be said and the whole world can see it with just one click of a button.

    • Samantha,

      I agree that these lessons should be taught daily and to every student what where and when? What do we replace that you are learning now to teach these skills to students? Secondly, how many of your teachers do you feel could actually teach these skills to you now? Maybe in your advance computer class you’ll get these skills, have these discussions, but at your school how many students are we talking about? At mine…less than 2%. I’m all for teaching these skills help me find where do we replace what is being taught today, and in what class with these skills and conversations about creating a positive school profile.

      • Jeff- First off, thank you for the thoughtful responses to my student’s comments.

        Interesting questions that you have posed, personally as a teacher (and a computer teacher to boot) I would love for some parents to take partial responsibility for the online conduct of their children. Sadly I see more and more the school’s role increasing to partially parent all students in ethical conduct.

        Fiona commented to me in class that parents do not need to be tech savvy to have their children conduct themselves in a responsible manner online.

        They need to be effective parents who have taught their children a certain amount of morality, ethics and responsibility.

        I think she has a valid point, adults who are intimidated by technology may feel unqualified to instruct their children on how to behave online. But is it really so different than how we were taught? “Do unto others…..”

        The great thing about technology and Web 2.0 is the availability we all have as a global community to each other and information, but it is still people we are dealing with.

        The U.S. is becoming more concerned with Digital Citizenry, and I do think that eventually computer technology will be another part of a long line of state or federally assessed subjects. When this happens who is responsible for those students who are Cyber-bullies? I could be wrong, but this line of thinking concerns me….could we then be held responsible in some degree for students ethical or moral conduct online?

        • Thanks for having your students respond….it’s been a great conversation and I hope something positive comes out of it at your school…or at least with these students. They bring up some great points….now let’s get some high school students to take action! 🙂

  4. I’m a high school student in an advanced computer applications class. Cyber bullying is getting worse and worse. Schools should definitely teach teens how to act over the internet as well as texting. The teens who do cyber bully continue to do it because they have not gotten caught due to adults maybe not knowing how to act or respond to the situation. Cyber bullying is worse than bullying in person due to the fact that anyone can see it and it is more threatening than in person. Half the things people say over the internet they would never say in person. There should be courses schools require to prevent cyber bullying. After reading this blog I agree that there should be saturday school for these kids but it should also be kids who haven’t done cyber bullying because it does not mean they never will do it.

    • Fiona,

      At what age do we start teaching these skills and having conversations about Cyber Bullying? At my school we have 4th graders on Facebook (even though you’re suppose to be 13 to join). 30% of our 3rd graders have a cell phone, where does this fit in the overall picture of schooling? And….is it the schools responsibility to do so? Most Cyber Bullying happens outside of school, does the school have a right or an obligation to still teach these skills? Or is it up to the parents who buy their kids cell phones and computers to help them understand the world they live in? Parents buy their kids cell phones and then get upset when they get in trouble for texting. Who’s responsibility is this truly? And do schools even have an obligation to teach these skills?

      • As you made the point that younger kids are having access to things that many of us would of never had at that age but i feel the need to blame the parents. Its not the schools responsibility to us teach this, It’s the parents (but the school will teach it better then the parents would). Overall parents shouldn’t spoil there kids so much as they are now and should learn more about the topic themselves.

      • RE: At what age do we start teaching these skills and have conversations about Cyber Bullying?

        Children need to become aware at a very young age that in a world where mass media and mass communication exponentially grow day by day, that cyber bullying will only get worse if they allow it to trespass their personal online life.

        People need to take “trolling” not as seriously and personal, “trolling”, being a popular urban term to describe cyber bullying as you may probably already know. Children should be independent upon counter acting Cyber Bullying or “Trolling”, just as they should be independent on countering other forms of “Real life” bullying. Without a child able to have the ability or courage to believe that he/she is capable to not let “E-drama” (for lack of a better word) affect them, children will be “trolled” to the ends of the earth eventually.

        There are people out here where they can spend limitless dedicated amounts of time to just “troll” kids because it their form of entertainment, entertainment that is purely sick, pathetic, and disgusting. This is not a school or parent responsibility really, it is really an individual responsibility that will help children in their lives in the future of ever growing technology and mass communication to help them live a more “stress-free” life. Why? Because no one needs to deal with “E-drama”.

  5. I am a high school student and I was required to read the following blog in my advanced computers class. I believe that cyber bullying is an issue in our social networking environment because it affects individuals constantly. It creates lots of emotional pain and suffering. Students should be taught the effects of cyber bullying and how to avoid it since we are constantly using these means as communication with one another.

    Sometimes as teenagers we are not aware of what we post and how we say things to others on facebook, twitter, etc. We are not aware that everyone can access this information and how the person may interpret what we say. In your blog you stated that some students were not able to refrain from using the social networking sites during the discussion which shows how much these sites revolve around our lives and how important it is to us. I believe that if students got a first hand experience on cyber bullying they would see the emotional effects it has on others.

    • Jully,

      I being a technology/social-media geek understand how important these spaces are to your generation. I get that…..but not sure how many teachers/schools do. At my school Facebook is unblocked at school, so is YouTube…in fact the only thing we block is pornography, gambling sites, and a few inappropriate gaming sites. Because we are an International School our students use Facebook to stay in touch of friends when they leave (40% of our students leave every year….and new ones come) so it’s important to them not only on a social level within school, but to their wider friendship group that they have access to these tools. We as a school also use Facebook in the classroom, and just this week used it to great a group of 7000 people in Bangkok to ban plastic bags at the local grocery story.

      Adults have never really been or understood the social world of teens. My parents didn’t understand mine, and their parents didn’t understand theirs. I think it’s part of time, it’s part of being a generation. The issue today is that the tools your generation has access to has a record of everything that happened. When I met my friends at the 7-11 or at the mall, what we said, what we did, the pictures we took, never left us. Did our parents know where we were? Not all the time, but that’s part of being a teenager.

      But today everything you do, say, take a picture of, or someone else takes a picture of has the potential to be a positive or negative lasting effect on your life in way of your online profile. I’m just not sure everyone in your generation understands that…and maybe what we really need is people like you and the rest of your classmates to help other kids in your generation to understand the powerful and negative power these sites have.

      • I am aware of the fact that in your school facebook and other social networking sites are being used constantly for both educational and personal purposes. I believe that there are ways to teach these students and others throughout the world on how to use these sites properly. You asked if it was the parents or the schools responsibility to teach the students on how to reduce the levels of cyber bullying either through social sites or just regular cell phone or text use.

        In my opinion it is both. The parents could instill a certain level of education for their children on how to use technology properly even though they themselves don’t understand it fully but when it comes to cyber bullying or improper use its part of ethics and morality. The school could also take responsibility of this issue by teaching the students how to use the sites and the effects cyber bullying has on the life of the individual. They could have classes that are held at least 3 times a week. You stated that parents do not fully understand cyber world but in a way they could relate it to the gossip and rumors spread through phone conversations, notes, or even poster, yelling facts about the individual through the school hallway, etc. The bullying was on a more enclosed environment but your peers were constantly there nagging you about the subject. The emotional effects are still there. The anonymity is not there and a wider audience will not be aware of the issue but its a way to relate for parents.

  6. Getting your Saturday students in on this post lends it even more cred. I agree – lessons for all, not just the wicked. There is massive social pressure to be ON – now more than ever. Three years ago counselors worried when kids had social networking sites – now we worry when they don’t (or when they “overuse”). Ninth graders get a 4 hour dose of digital wellness at our school – adapted “CyberSmart” lessons that snap a few weary heads to a new global audience reality – but I think high school is too late. Our biggest cyberbullying events occur in 7th and 8th grade. Teachers are coming around to the gravitas of Facebook, but slowly. Two years ago Twitter was “stupid” – now you don’t hear that as often either.

  7. I think that cyber bullying is something that affects most kids in middle and high school. It’s true that during classes kids are paying more attention to their phones to go on facebook then what’s going on in class. These kids don’t know how much of a danger it is to put themselves on the internet for anyone to see.

    I feel that most of them think that nothing dangerous will come out of exposing themselves online, and I feel they don’t think that they will ever be cyber bullied. They need to be educated on the subject that 1) most of what you put online can be seen and searched and 2) kids need to understand the effects cyber bulling can cause on other students. I think a great way to get the point across is have students in the late teens teach middle school students on the dangers of the internet, and the damages your creating when you make fun of someone on the internet.

  8. I’m a student in a computer applications class. I do see cyber bullying as a problem though it has never happened to me. Teenagers of all ages do need a connection to the social networks online. There are so many people I know that either have facebook as their home page or go to that as soon as they turn on their computers.
    Like in your wife’s class students in my school have and will continue to try to go on facebook or other social networks though it is blocked. Though your Saturday class is an excellent idea, other students that did not bully kids should also have this kind of guidance. I feel like school does have a slight obligation to teach the rights and wrongs. I know it may not be able to affect every student but the effects on some students may be worth the effort. Parents should also be responsible for teaching morals even if they are not up to date on technology.

  9. I’m a high school student and this is a very important issue that you’ve covered with the cyber bulling because many suicides have been occurring after people have been doing cyber bullying and they don’t even know they do it. I think that even through myspace or facebook or anywhere I think girls and boys should think twice before sending a message because it can really affect the person they are messaging to. Many people can be affected by it especially teenage girls and I know numerous of people who actually have experienced it and it can get awfully depressing.
    I also feel like kids younger than 12 shouldn’t be around facebook and especially kids younger than that who are in elementary school shouldn’t have cell phone because next thing you know in less than a decade second graders or first graders will have cell phones. Overall I think parents should also play a big role on being more cautious of what their younger kids do online.

  10. I found it terrible that people bully over the Internet. It’s bad enough its in schools but now over the Internet? I have seen Bullying on blogs, YouTube etch. Things like this should be monitored. They should be monitored by Webmasters or by people who have control over that certain site. This makes shore people cant type anything offensive.

    These kids have to know what happens when you mess with the Internet and the consequences of cyber bullying. These classes are beneficial and can change the way some use the Internet. It should be part of school curriculum since a lot of kids use it everyday. I believe this should start in second grade around the time kids really get into computers Starting this early can stop the nasty blogs and cruel hate pages that hurt others.

  11. I’m a student in an advanced computers class and when I was reading this article I was thinking why would people do such a thing in the first place? For me I always say “if you don’t have anything nice to type, don’t type at all.”

    (Is it up to the parents who buy their kids cell phones and computers to help them understand the world they live in or the schools, Parents buy their kids cell phones and then get upset when they get in trouble for texting.)

    I have a question for people who have cell phones in school. “Why are you texting in school when you know you are going to get caught texting in the first place?” It’s not the parents’ fault that their kids got caught texting; it’s the kids’ fault, but that’s my opinion.

    • Agree it’s the kids fault for now following the rules, but we use to pass notes when I was in school, that’s all texting is today….modern day solution to the same old problem….get a message to a friend. 🙂

      and we got caught, and we kept doing it. Yes, the kids will continue to do it, and yes they are breaking the rules in class….but 2500 text messages a month (some teens text that much) is not happening during class time. That’s a lot of communication….and I’d bet that 99% of is great stuff that they love to do. It’s the 1% that worries me.

  12. I’m a student taking an advanced computer class and when I saw the question “Is it up to the parents who buy their kids cell phones and computers to help them understand the world they live in?” Parents buy their kids cell phones and then get upset when they get in trouble for texting. Who’s responsibility is this truly?” I think I have a answer for you. I personally think that its the parents fault for buying them the cellphone in the first place. My parents think that when you start staying after school or you’re doing sports is the perfect time to get a cellphone. Other wise it’s not necessary.

    • Every parent has their reason….we have 1st grader with cell phones so that they can call their parents if they are in trouble or to check in when at a friends house…..perfectly legit reasons to give someone a cell phone. But I agree that to often the power of a cell phone to communicate and connect is not discussed with kids when they get their first cell phone and that camera on the back isn’t always used appropriately and can get students into trouble quickly. I do think parents have a large part to play in this….did your parents talk with you about your cell phone use when they gave you one?

      • To answer your question “did your parents talk with you about your cell phone use when they gave me one?” Yes they did,I got my phone in 6th grade because I started staying after school a lot, they told me that we will get you a BASIC pay as you go phone (one with out a camera and a keypad like a computers keyboard). They also said that the phone is for emergencies ONLY. But as I got older (i’m in 10th grade now) the gave me more privileges like I can talk to my friends and text and I got a new BASIC flip phone.

  13. I am a high school student that was required to read this blog.
    This is definitely one of the biggest issues that are plaguing over our generation. I feel as though this is happening too frequently and it is almost becoming frightening. People now a days are communicating through facebook or any social networking site so recklessly, almost as if they are completely oblivious to the aftermath of their hurtful actions.

    I feel very strongly that this needs to be recognized & fixed, but this problem isn’t being noticed as quickly as it should. Most teachers in my school are quite good with computers and technology but other schools may not be so fortunate. I think that schools need to have some assembly of some sort, not only for the students but for the teachers as well. The teachers need to be informed about just how serious cyber bullying is and how widely spread it is even in their own classrooms. But this blog post is definitely is helping the to bring about the awareness of cyber bullying.

    • Thanks Janna,

      I agree that we need to re-educate both teachers and parents, and what I would love to see is high school students who know this world better than anyone else to take the lead in re-educating our communities. There is great power in these networks if used appropriately, but we need to help others understand the power and use it for good. I continue to come back to my favorite line to use with students from Spider Man: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

      Kids have the power but they they understand their responsibility to use it appropriately?

  14. I am a student in High School and I was required to read this blog post for my Advanced Computer Apps Class. I think cyber bullying is a major problem and is worsening over time. Schools can definitely teach us students how to act over the Internet, but there will always be those certain immature people to do it anyway, because they never had been caught yet.

    Parents should also know what their kids are doing on the Internet, but not all the time are parents going to be able to do that, for the fact that not all parents are capable of using the Internet or Computer. So I think there should be meetings or events on cyber bullying in which both the parent and students can attend, to see the effects of cyber bullying.

    • Great ideas! Is your school doing anything like this? Why or why not? How about high school students in general? We have a lot of different groups at our school and next year I’m thinking of starting a Cyberbullying group that can go down to the middle school and elementary and help students understand this world. They seem to respond better to the older kids they are trying to imitate then they do to adults. I wonder if other schools are trying this.

      • One way I address this:

        In the U.S.Because of E-rate requirements all schools who receive these funds has to submit cyber safety curriculum.

        As a culminating activity to my Cyber Safety unit, my 9th graders create short P.S.A.s for the Middle School regarding Cyber Safety topics they have learned about in my Computer Applications class.

        The 7th grade view it as part of their Health Curriculum and use a Google Form I created to vote on what films are best in each category.

  15. In my high school I really don’t think that many of the teachers here are capable of teaching about cyber-safety and cyber-bullying due to the lack of extra time to teach these classes and also the lack of training that most of these teachers have.

    Because of technology today I think that children should start being taught about this at a very young age so that they can get used to what happens on the Internet and not be offended in the case that they start to become bullied online. I think that maybe the best teachers could be older students because they have experienced everything themselves personally.

    • I think that’s a great idea. In the past I’ve had 7th graders in a health class talk to 5th graders about cyberbullying. We found that the 5th graders would listen to their older peers and ask them questions that they would not ask an adult.

      This week I have to talk to 4th graders about FaceBook. They are 8 years old and trying to friend their teacher. How does an 8 year old get a FaceBook account? We have to start teaching these skills younger and younger. Who teaches them at your school? And would you be willing to teach younger students about the safety of these online places and how to use them in positive ways?

  16. I am a high school student that was required to read the blog.
    I believe that cyber bullying is a big issue concerning kids anywhere that have a computer or any type of connection to the internet. Although the students you talked to may have understood what cyber bullying does not every teenager and kid, may see it the same way. I feel that the only way somebody really learns their lesson is if it happens to them. For high school students it will definitely not make that much of a difference if you have a talk with them about cyber bullying, because more than half of them would have bullied someone online at least once.

    Cyber bullying occurs the most in 7th grade but usually starts around 6th grade. I believe that parents should take some time out of their day to talk to their kids about online and its harms, because teachers only have 42 minutes to try and get a point across unlike the child’s parents.

    • I totally agree that we educators need parents help. But do parents know how to talk about cyberbullying with their kids? They never had to go through it, they never had their parents talk to them about it, so I’m not sure they even know how to talk about it with their children.

      It scares me to think that the only way we can get students to understand CyberBullying is to have them get Bullied. I hope there is someway we can help them to realize this world they are in and how to use it for good before it gets to that point.

  17. You sure do have a lot of students that are required to read your blog. I’m a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama, I’ll be following your blog for the next three weeks actually. You can find my own class blog at ellisjaimieedm310.blogspot.com

    I think, being twenty, I managed to fall right in between two huge generation areas, and can seen multiple sides to this. I have a facebook, and a myspace, and even a twitter. And I use them to keep up with people, but I’m not always on them. I rarely update my status. I never actually even knew cyber bullying was going on. But I have been stuck in the kind of awkward situation facebook can present that you talked about. Someone you don’t like friends you. Do you accept out of politeness? Do you reject because it’s how you really feel?

    One of the most awkward things for me is that I have a manager at my job who keeps trying to friend me. I don’t really feel comfortable having someone in charge of me on my friends list, but I don’t want to be rude to someone in charge of me either…

    I’m afraid to think how many new way the world can come up with to stress out the next generation.

    • Not sure where all the students are coming from lately to my blog, but love what you all have to say. Agree that these new media places will make us rethink privacy. Is it OK for a boss to be online “friends” with a colleague? And more importantly is it OK for a person to not friend their boss and still have a strong working relationship. All things that I think your generation especially will have to figure out.

  18. I am a grade 5 teacher in a 1 to 1 class and we start teaching our students about cyberbullying, appropriate use, privacy and respecting each other, at the beginning of the year. These are important topics and central to online use. Our responsibility as teachers is to understand all of the implications and guide our students.

    Our students are connected in many different ways, but at a young age they are not always aware of the repercussions of what they are doing. It is important that we help them to realize what is respectful and appropriate. I also believe it should be reinforced every year at school. All teachers who use these tools with students should either come up with a collaborative set of guidelines, or make a point of following and emphasizing any the school may have in place.

    I also think that we need to educate the parents. We need to have parent focused sessions where they learn about online life. This could be class led or as a school.

    I’d also like to see student groups set up within schools to try and tackle these problems. They can provide support to students being bullied, talk to others about these concerns and great educational material to inform the student population.

    Who’s responsibility is it? All of ours and we need to get all of the stakeholders in a school talking about it before it becomes too much of an issue.

    Well done to all the students posting here. If it is a problem at your school, what would you do? What action should a school take?

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  20. Im a student in advanced computer app. and i have read this post in shock of what young kids have like cellphones and facebook. I feel this is an important issue that is going on in this world. Cyber bullying is raising awareness everywhere. There is no reason to do it so I don’t know why people do it. The victims of it can get really hurt where it gets to a point that they can commit suicide. I once read that a girl committed suicide because someone cyber bullied her. It concerned the parents of the little girl and it raised awareness to the authorities/the government. But the person who did this horrible thing is not paying a price. People need to learn how terrible and hurtful this is for victims of bullying.

  21. As a teenager, I’ve heard many things about hacking pages and accounts. Not just on facebook, but on other social networking sites as well. Honestly, I don’t understand why anyone would have any reason to hack someone else’s account. Yes, it’s true people have “enemies” and want “revenge” for something that happen in the past. But they’re other ways to solve problems without having the whole facebook world reading or seeing what’s going on in their lives. The more our technology increases, so does cyber bullying…not just online but also by via text messages.

    As I was reading through your replies, I read that 4th graders at your school have facebook…its funny because at my karate class there are elementary students that always ask me (a 15 year old) if I have a facebook. I say yes, and they tell me really?…I do too! I’m just there like “what??” It shocks me that little kids are getting involved in the networking world at such a young age. Many of their parents know that they have one too.

    I think that having classes teaching kids about the danger of posting personal information on networking sites is helpful to make them have second thoughts before they post something.

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  23. All the responses from teachers and students on this blog were very thought provoking. What are we to do to help our students, and perhaps their parents in managing appropriate internet exchanges? Certainly we have school policies to provide perhaps one lesson on cyberbullying but are we enlightening our students at an earlier enough age and is it not a constant issue that must be revisited? As an administrator, I have noted an increase in middle school social disputes that were initiated the night before, via technology. Comments made and texts sent either during a weekend or during the evening may cause ripples during the school day that significantly interfere with student learning. The nasty, flippant, and snide remarks that were made in hallways as girls passed by are now visually displayed for all to see and “hear”. It is becoming increasingly difficult for some things to be forgiven and some friendships to be repaired. In smaller schools and communities, it is also a challenge for that student to ‘disappear’ into the crowd after a malicious comment is made about him/her. I would be interested to hear how you utilize older students to teach younger ones about cyberbullying.

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  25. hello from Montana:

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I am writing a e-course on cyberbullying and find that many adults have no idea on how to approach their children about this.

    I will certainly reference your blog.

    Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and keynote speaker

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  30. I think this post is great! I could not agree with it more. Facebook has been such an important aspect of social lives for school kids as well as young adults. Cyber bullying is also a huge issue among schools and the privacy are sometimes just not enough to help children from getting their feelings hurt. In extreme cases, several suicides among youngsters have resulted because of bullying, mainly cyber bullying. It has become an increasingly larger problem now and definitely should be addressed. It is saddening that these students only really learned about it in depth because of the Saturday school, but if there was some possible way to incorporate it into the daily lives of kids, I think it would be beneficial for those who bully and those who are being bullied.

  31. I am taking a college level course as a high school student, and i am doing some research for my topic. The topic i chose it social networking through the example of Facebook. One of my paragraphs is on cyber bullying and i have read some pretty horrifying things. What you wrote sums up alot of what i have read. People will never understand what cyber bullying does to a person unless the witness it first hand. A student at my school committed suicide last year due to other students bullying him and making “hate” pages on Facebook. Yeah, people were sad for a couple weeks but i feel like nobody learned anything. It is hard to watch people get bullied via internet and people need to know what can happen. This is a huge issue that needs to be heard, so thank you for giving your time to help a couple people understand.

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