3. What should you do if you are cyberbullied?

  • Talk to students about cyber bullying, explaining that it is wrong and can have serious consequences. Make a rule that students may not send mean or damaging messages, even if someone else started it, or suggestive pictures or messages or they will lose their cell phone and computer privileges for a time.
  • Encourage students to tell an adult if cyber bullying is occurring. Tell them if they are the victims they will not be punished, and reassure them that being bullied is not their fault.
  • Students should keep cyber bullying messages as proof that the cyber bullying is occurring. The students' parents may want to talk to the parents of the cyber bully, to the bully's Internet or cell phone provider, and/or to the police about the messages, especially if they are threatening or sexual in nature.
  • Try blocking the person sending the messages. It may be necessary to get a new phone number or email address and to be more cautious about giving out the new number or address.
  • Students should never tell their password to anyone except a parent, and should not write it down in a place where it could be found by others.
  • Students should not share anything through text or instant messaging on their cell phone or the Internet that they would not want to be made public - remind students that the person they are talking to in messages or online may not be who they think they are, and that things posted electronically may not be secure.
  • Encourage students never to share personal information online or to meet someone they only know online.
  • Keep the computer in a shared space like the family room, and do not allow students to have Internet access in their own rooms.
  • Encourage students to have times when they turn off the technology, such as at family meals or after a certain time at night.
  • Parents may want to wait until high school to allow their students to have their own email and cell phone accounts, and even then parents should still have access to the accounts.