Cyberbullying refers to a form of harassment using modern communication technologies and social media. This phenomenon is a relevant issue in the 21st century, and it is defined by scientists as a contemporary “pandemic threat” (Umesh et al. 6). Therefore, cyberbullying needs particular attention to develop effective intervention and prevention strategies at schools in the USA.
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Ensuring digital security is one of the significant ways to address cyberbullying. Information technologies are nowadays an integral part of educational space at the U.S. schools (Marzano 119). Therefore, it is inevitable that cyberbullying may occur in school networks during interactive lessons and after classes. In this context, intervention strategies primarily rely on digital security and modern technological solutions, primarily, the automatic detection of cyberbullying in the media discourse. For example, recent advances in technology, such as “algorithms for detecting invalid information” (Marzano 121) are the promising means for reducing bullying in the cyberspace of the U.S. schools. Tools for pinpointing cyberbullying are effective means of handling this issue since they detect posts not only from bullies but also from victims and bystanders. Consequently, each of these categories of participants can be addressed by educators appropriately.
In addition to digital security, social support from educators is crucial. For example, Umesh et al. suggest that implementing hotlines, support groups, and counseling services at the U.S. schools can significantly mitigate the experiences of cyberbullying victims (6). In particular, discussions in support groups and counselor’s support can help victims to overcome the aftermath of cyber-bullying (Umesh et al. 6). Indeed, the scientists argue that the position of educating counselors at each U.S. school will ensure effective communication “targeted for digital security, awareness and support for all students” (Umesh et al. 5). In other words, it will ensure a beneficial atmosphere of mutual support and trust.
Handling cyberbullying also requires a considerable amount of parents’ involvement. That is to say, instructive parental mediation is another essential tool for cyberbullying intervention (Wright and Wachs 10). For instance, discussions with parents might provide their children with necessary coping strategies, which will ultimately reduce the adolescents’ “exposure to cyberbullying perpetration and victimization” (Wright and Wachs 7). Hence, raising the cyberbullying awareness among parents and guardians is particularly essential. This can be achieved through social media, questionnaires, and surveys, developing educational text and video materials, organizing training workshops, roundtable discussions, and the like.
Apart from restrictive measures, tackling strategies against cyberbullying also include preventive means. In particular, appropriate curriculum development can contribute to cyberbullying prevention. For example, Singh suggests integrating “case studies about social injustice” at the U.S. schools (142). Through discussing such case studies, students are expected “to understand the circumstances and decisions surrounding these events” (Singh 142). Consequently, students relate these case studies to their own experiences and make relevant conclusions. Yet another important aspect is teaching etiquette for communication in social media and basic principles of cyber security, such as Internet privacy options (Umesh et al. 6). In fact, this can raise awareness among students, and adhering to simple security measures can reduce their exposure to cyberbullying.
Thus, handling strategies against cyberbullying at the U.S. schools include ensuring digital security, providing social support and counseling, as well as promoting instructive parental mediation. Prevention of cyberbullying can be achieved through the development of a curriculum aimed at raising students’ awareness and digital competency. Hence, intervention and prevention of cyberbullying require joint efforts from all stakeholders: only through cooperation between parents, educators, and policymakers, the issue of cyberbullying can be adequately addressed and ultimately settled.
Marzano, Gilberto. “Technological Help to Prevent and Reduce Cyberbullying.” Cyberbullying and the Critical Importance of Educational Resources for Prevention and Intervention, edited by Gilberto Marzano, Joanna Lizut, 2019, IGI Global, pp. 119–143.
Singh, Vijai. “A Curriculum to Strengthen Students against Cyberbullying.” Cyberbullying: A Deadly Trend, edited by the New York Times Editorial Staff, The Rosen Publishing Group, 2018, pp. 142–144.
Umesh, Bindal, et al. “Student and Teachers Perspective on Cyber-Bullying.” Journal of Forensic Psychology, vol. 3, no. 132, 2018, pp. 1–6. doi: 10.4172/2475-319X.1000134
Wright, Michelle, and Sebastian Wachs. “Does Parental Mediation Moderate the Longitudinal Association among Bystanders and Perpetrators and Victims of Cyberbullying?” Social Sciences, vol. 7, no. 231, 2018, pp. 1–10. doi: 10.3390/socsci7110231