Fatma is a popular girl at school noted for her academic excellence, extracurricular activities and cheerful nature. She is an active member at school and also on online forums. However, recently, she has been keeping to herself most of the time and her academic performance has declined. Fatma’s teacher calls her mother to enquire about her and is surprised when the mother accuses her of not protecting
Fatma from cyber bullying. She is determined to take Fatma out of the school as she believes it has failed in its responsibilities.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were held accountable for the fight your students had on the playground? Can the parents hold the school responsible for fights that kids enter into? Would it be right to place accountability on the school and its teachers, when it comes to cyber bullying? Digital media has become an extension of a child’s life and the playing field is open to people of all ages. To what extent is the educator responsible when it comes to cyber bullying?
On average a teenager spends about 30% of his/her life in school. As a teacher, you have significant influence on teen’s perception and behavior. Cyber bullying is often the outcome of mishandled perceptions and misrepresented facts. Schools are where the majority of cyber bullying originates and there are steps that you as an educator can take to control cyber bullying.
The repercussions of cyber bullying are increasing day by day and most bullying complaints originate from campuses. School administration must work alongside parents to advocate acceptable digital behavior among students to curb bullying practices. They should also work with educators to identify areas of conflict where cyber bullying originates, so that it can be prevented.
What about bullying practices that happen away from campus during after-school hours? This is where both parents and educators can provide a safety net to children by being able to respond to bullying incidents together. When all the adults in the child’s world share the same awareness and concerns, the message being communicated to the child becomes consistent, positively influencing them.
It is the educator’s responsibility to train, discipline and protect every child whilst they are in your care. Your influence shapes lives and society at large. The way you conduct and treat each student should help create a comfort zone where they can share their concerns. You have to be the trusted adult that every child prefers to confide in apart from their parents. Remember, educators fill the gap between parents and children.
As educators let us not react after an incident, but be proactive in bringing an anti-cyber bullying revolution wherever we are.