Social Distancing + Social Media + Increased Time Online Can Lead to Cyberbullying
Thank you for your help as we work to provide online learning environments for all of our students. We realize that supporting your students in continuing their education from home can be challenging, and we appreciate all your efforts as we work together during this unprecedented long-term school dismissal period.
For the next five weeks, your students will have a variety of ways to learn and to communicate with their teachers and with other students. They will be online during this time - sometimes with supervision in an online discussion and sometimes when they are responding individually to their teachers or peers. SLCSD wants all students to feel safe anytime they are online, and especially in their online learning environment. Unfortunately, when students spend a lot of time on the Internet, cyberbullying can become a problem. Cyberbullying occurs when someone in an online environment intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly sends or post texts, videos, or images that hurt, embarrass, or threaten another individual. ( .) Cyberbullying can also include sending hurtful text or instant messages or spreading mean rumors. Any incidents of cyberbullying should be taken seriously, as they can impact your student’s sense of well-being and self-worth as well as their online educational experience.
The following information can help you guide your student safely through the online learning experience:
- How can parents/guardians help stop cyberbullying? Start by monitoring your student’s online learning and social media usage. If you become aware that your student or another student is the target of bullying messages from classmates, or if you feel cyberbullying behavior on social media is impacting your student’s learning environment, contact your student’s teacher or principal via email to report the behavior. Principal and teachers’ email addresses are available on your school’s webpage, under faculty and/or staff listings. In addition, the following link provides helpful information about bullying behaviors and steps to take when bullying occurs: .
- My student has a safety plan, will it still be enforced? If your student had a safety plan in place at school, and you have concerns about interactions that may cause your student to feel unsafe in the online learning community, reach out to your school’s principal. Safety plans or no-contact contracts may be adjusted to include language about the online learning environment.
- What should I do if online interactions contain prohibited cyber-bullying? If your student reports that objectionable materials have been posted in their online learning environment, contact the teacher or your school’s principal to have those materials removed. The principal will also determine appropriate next steps. Information about and examples of prohibited behaviors/materials are located in the administrative procedures for Board Policy G-20: Bullying, Cyberbullying, Hazing, and Abusive Conduct Prohibited (Policy: Administrative Procedures ). This policy is in full effect, whether our students are meeting in person or online. If your principal is not available to assist you, contact the district’s compliance officer, Tina Hatch, at to report your concerns.
In addition, SLCSD expects our students to be good digital citizens who respect others and practice safe online behaviors. Our Library Technology Teachers instruct all students about digital citizenship every year. To make sure that all our students remember what it means to be a good digital citizen, we will send a link to your students’ teachers on Monday, March 30, to share with all students. This link will be to a lesson provided through our education partner, . This grade-appropriate lesson will be a reminder of all the ways we act safely and responsibly when we are online with other students. Your school’s library technology teacher or Katie Ieremia, Supervisor, Professional Development and Library Technology, can answer any questions you have about these materials. Ms. Ieremia can be reached at .
If you have concerns about cyberbullying, and you cannot reach your school’s principal, contact the district’s compliance officer, Tina Hatch, at . You can also send a message through the district’s website at the following link: .
Thank you for assisting SLCSD as we try to ensure that our students are learning in an environment free from cyberbullying.