Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bullying 2.0

Two years ago, the sixth grade core teachers were required to help out the PE/Health department cover a unit. There were several subjects to be covered in this unit: nutrition, smoking, hygiene and (predictably for this blog post) bullying.

Bullying became my topic to cover with the 6th grades and it was considered a significant topic by the admin as a "consistent message to be sent to all middle school students at the start of the school year".

The majority of the curriculum focused on typical scenarios of the school yard bully, and what could be done to avoid him or her. We then shifted focus to cyberbullying.

The discussions were interesting because the initial reaction by the students was that cyberbullying was a less threatening means of intimidating victims. As we further examined the issues, the means, the outcomes and impacts of cyberbullying, a stronger awareness of just how damaging this kind of bullying can be.

At one point in our Apr 8 f2f, the instructor was asked if there had been any formal survey done on the prevalence of cyberbullying at the school.

In my class of two years ago, I did survey the students specifically about cyberbullying. The results that came back were negligible and those that did report to be bullied online, claimed only mild irritation and nothing that needed intervention.

That was two years ago. A lot can change in that amount of time - especially when technology is concerned!

I think a new survey should be created, and amendments to the ISB AUP should strongly reflect the wrongitude of cyberbullying!

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