Protect Your Native Children from Cyberbullying
Native News Network Staff in Native Health. Discussion »
WASHINGTON Cyberbullying is a teen problem that occurs online. Cyberbullying can hurt feelings and damage relationships, and it is increasing with emerging technologies.
One-click access to the Internet makes it
that much more dangerous for teens.
Schools that have less than five percent minority enrollment report higher rates of cyberbullying than schools that have a higher percent of minority students, according to "Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2011," released earlier this year by the US Department of Justice.
American Indian suffer from bullying for a variety of reasons. American Indian and Alaska Native youth experience bullying for a wide variety of reasons, including racism.
A study released last year, "Focus on American Indians and Alaskan Natives: The Scourge of Suicides among American Indian and Alaska Native Youth," strongly indicates that bullying is one of the contributing factors in the high rate of suicides among American Indian and Alaskan Native.
Parents and kids can choose to be careful online. Here are some helpful guidelines to deal with cyberbullying:
Steps to Take Immediately
- Don't respond to and don't forward cyberbullying messages.
- Keep evidence of cyberbullying. Record the dates, times, and descriptions of instances when cyberbullying has occurred. Save and print screenshots, emails, and text messages. Use this evidence to report cyberbullying to web and cell phone service providers.
- Block the person who is cyberbullying.
Report Cyberbullying to Online Service Providers
- Cyberbullying often violates the terms of service established by social media sites and internet service providers.
- Review their terms and conditions or rights and responsibilities sections. These describe content that is or is not appropriate.
- Visit social media safety centers to learn how to block users and change settings to control who can contact you.
- Report cyberbullying to the social media site so they can take action against users abusing the terms of service.
Report Cyberbullying to Law Enforcement
When cyberbullying involves these activities it is considered a crime and should be reported to law enforcement:
- Threats of violence.
- Child pornography or sending sexually explicit messages or photos.
- Taking a photo or video of someone in a place where he or she would expect privacy.
- Stalking and hate crimes.
- Some states consider other forms of cyberbullying criminal. Consult your state's laws and law enforcement for additional guidance.
Report Cyberbullying to Schools
- Cyberbullying can create a disruptive environment at school and is often related to in person bullying. The school can use the information to help inform prevention and response strategies.
- In many states, schools are required to address cyberbullying in their anti-bullying policy. Some state laws also cover off campus behavior that creates a hostile school environment.
posted May 3, 2012 6:00 am edt