Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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Tips for Schools and Teachers

Even though a lot of cyber bullying and computer use occurs at home, it is important for school districts and schools to have clear policies for dealing with cyber bullying. Cyber bullying isn't just limited to computer use - it also can be done through cell phones and PDA's. As social networking sites and cell phone use continues to grow in popularity among students, so, too, does cyber bullying.

Schools can do a number of things to control cyber bullying, including:

  • Integrating curriculum-based anti-bullying programs into classrooms;
  • Educating teachers on dangers of cyber bullying;
  • Changing or creating new school board policy to include harassment associated with technology;
  • Establish serious consequences for students who don't abide by rules;
  • Block district-wide access to Yahoo Mail, MSN Hotmail, AOL Instant Messenger and any other personal e-mail accounts or personal blog sites such as MySpace, which can not be monitored;
  • If your school has a wireless network, restrict cell phone and PDA usage during class time; and
  • Include a section on cyber bullying in the student handbook and make sure that all students read and sign the book acknowledging the policy.

School districts should consider establishing new guidelines to deal with new forms of harassment, such as cyber bullying. Districts should clearly outline what disciplinary action will be taken when cyber bullying or other forms of victimization disrupt the learning environment. School districts also can help control the problem by sending letters home, posting safety tips on district Web sites and taking time to discuss the dangers associated with cyber bullying with students.