Cyberbullying Solutions for Schools

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

Cyberbullying can be very serious and very damaging for students. Anyone who works in a school has an opportunity to help solve the problem of cyberbullying. Check out this lesson to get a few ideas about how to curb and address cyberbullying.


If you have ever been sucked into an online argument, you probably know just how nasty they can get. Some people use the anonymity of the Internet to bully and harass others - this is called cyberbullying. As adults, we may find this behavior just rude and immature, but students may find it distracting, frightening, and damaging to their well-being. Fortunately, schools can step in and help prevent cyberbullying with a few different techniques.

Raising Awareness

One of the first steps to preventing and stopping cyberbullying is to bring it out into the open. One way to do this is to call a school-wide meeting with all students. Special speakers can be asked to speak to make it more interesting. Additionally, teachers and administrators can deliver a speech about what cyberbullying is and how it damages others. Some students may not realize that they are being bullied online or may not realize that they themselves are bullying others. By giving a clear definition of cyberbullying, school's can help encourage students to avoid online bullying.

Another way to raise awareness is to have a specific week or month dedicated to raising awareness about online bullying. This means that, during the specified time period, students are encouraged to ask about cyberbullying, and in-class lessons can include discussions about cyberbullying. For example, if part of an English class lesson plan is to read a short story, the instructor may choose a story about cyberbullying. This way, the lesson objective is covered, and students are also working towards an understanding and awareness of cyberbullying.

Create a Safe Atmosphere

Along with making sure that students understand what cyberbullying is, it is also important to make it clear that coming forward with reports of cyberbullying will be respected and protected. Students need to feel they will be protected from retaliation if they report cyberbullying. Students need to know that their reports of bullying will be believed and taken seriously. If students feel that their concerns are taken seriously, they may be more likely to report being the victims of cyberbullying. This means that individual students can receive one-on-one help, advice and intervention that is unique to their situation. Additionally, if all students believe that cyberbullying is serious, they may be less likely to be the perpetrators of online harassment.

One of the most direct ways to create a safe space is for teachers, support staff, and administrators to verbalize their willingness to listen to a student's report of cyberbullying. Addressing it at the beginning of the school year, perhaps with grade level assemblies, and posting notices in classrooms and hallways can ease a student's anxiety about who to turn to when it comes to cyberbullying.

School-Wide Policies

While keeping the atmosphere positive is important, sometimes negative reinforcement (punishments) can go a long way. These policies do not have to be a completely negative experience. They may include a meeting with the offender to calmly and gently explain the damage that his or her actions could cause. The school may choose to involve counselors and experts to help the offender understand how serious the violation is. Parents should be contacted and brought in to discuss the issue. Additionally, offenders may benefit from talking about the feelings that lead them to bully in the first place.

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