|Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on January 15, 2013 at 5:25 PM|
Today, online bullying is a reality for adults and teens alike. The personal nature of social networking, the ability to broadcast information to large groups of people in seconds and the bully’s feeling of anonymity can make this type of harassment particularly damaging and hurtful. These tips are designed to help you prevent and/or stop cyber bullies.
- Talk to your children. Keep an open dialogue with your kids about their online social circle. Let them know if they are bullied they can talk to you. Also, make sure they understand the damage that bullying can cause others. Look for warning signs that your child is being bullied or bullying and step in right away.
- Do not respond to a bully. Save or copy emails, messages or other evidence, but avoid engaging with a tormentor.
- If the perpetrator is a minor you may try reaching out to a parent or guardian to intervene in the matter. Many parents are surprised to learn that their children are bullying and will help intervene.
- If the bully attends your children’s school, discuss the matter with an administrator or counselor. Some schools have guidelines for dealing with cyber bullies and preventing escalation.
- File formal complaints with phone and internet providers to block the bully.
- Physical threats, stalking or harassment may constitute a criminal matter. Contact the police to report the abuse right away.
- Talk to your law firm to find out what other options may be available to you and your family. Laws dealing with online harassment vary; it is important to discuss the matter with an attorney who knows the laws in your state or province.