Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through texting, apps, social media, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying tactics include sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else.
While cyberbullying may not always cause physical harm, it can lead to distressing situations for the victim that may have consequential effects like depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, self-harm, and more. If you see someone being cyberbullied, it’s important to speak up to prevent the cyberbullying from continuing. With Friends for Life you can help put an end to cyberbullying by submitting an anonymous tip.
Did You Know?
- On average, 15% of students are cyberbullied every year.
- Females continue to show a higher percentage (19.7%) of being cyberbullied than do males (9.9%).
- Significantly higher percentages of lesbian, gay, or bisexual students (27.1%) and students not sure of their sexual identity (22.0%) were electronically bullied compared to heterosexual students (13.3%).
What Makes Cyberbullying Unique:
- It is Persistent: the digital era allows for cyberbullying to be a constant 24hr experience that makes it hard for the victim to escape and find relief.
- It is Permanent: information posted on the internet is permanent and public for everyone to see. Rarely can you scrub something entirely off the internet. This may mean the bully can create themselves a negative online reputation that may impact future goals (i.e., college admissions, employment, etc.).
- It is Hard to Notice: since the bullying is taking place online, it may be harder for parents, teachers, and other adults to overhear or see it taking place.
Being a Positive Bystander in a Cyberbullying Situation:
- Write a positive post about the person being targeted.
- Contact the person being cyberbullied and let them know they’re not alone.
- Take a screenshot of the cyberbullying and report it to a parent or an adult at school.
- Report the bullying content to the social media platform and ask to have it removed according to the platform’s community guidelines.
- Submit an anonymous tip to Friends for Life through the phone, online, live chat, or the “CCS FFL” mobile app.
- This law is named after David Molak, a 16-year old student from San Antonio, TX who took his own life in 2016 after relentless harassment and bullying online. With the support of the PTA, David’s family was able to persuade the 85th Texas State Legislature to pass David’s Law on September 1st, 2017.
- Most significantly, this law amended the existing Education Code by better defining and including cyberbullying more thoroughly when addressing bullying. The law provides for anonymous reporting for students, including cyberbullying off campus and after school hours. In addition, it has set up clearer guidelines for reporting bullying/cyberbullying by designated school personnel without worry of unreasonable penalty or repercussion.
- For a David’s Law overview please click here.
- For the full text of David’s Law please click here.
For a full list of Anti-Bullying laws in the state of Texas please visit https://www.stopbullying.gov/r...
Visit your school’s website to learn more about their anti-bullying policies and codes.
- FWISD Family Resource Centers
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Deaf & Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889
- STOMP Out Bullying
- The goal of the STOMP Out Bullying™ Live HelpChat Line is to help you reduce the stress, depression and fear you are feeling as a result of being bullied and to empower you to make healthy decisions.
- Free and Confidential
- Texas Youth Helpline
- Call 1-800-989-6884
- Text 512-872-5777
- RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
- Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
- The Trevor Project (LGBTQ Youth)
- Hotline: 1-866-488-7386
- Text START to 678678