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By Linda McClure, Tech Coordinator
By Linda McClure, Tech Coordinator


The act of sending nude or explicit photos of oneself over text to another person.

Sexting News Article

Sexting Video for parents

Safety Software

Organizations Dedicated to Cybersafety


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Cyberbullying is the use of technology to bully a person or group with the intent to hurt them socially, psychologically or even physically.
Right now there are many young people being Cyberbullied.
By reporting it, talking about it and supporting each other we can stop it.

Different Forms of Cyberbullying:

  • Flaming - Online “fights” using electronic messages with angry and vulgar language.
  • Harassment -  Repeatedly sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages.
  • Denigration - “Dissing” someone online. Sending or posting cruel gossip or rumors about a person to damage his or her reputation or friendships.
  • Impersonation – Breaking into someone’s account, posing as that person and sending messages to make the person look bad, get that person in trouble or danger, or damage that person’s reputation or friendships.
  • Exclusion – Intentionally excluding someone from an online group, like a “buddy list.”
  • Cyberstalking – Repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm or are highly intimidating.
  • Engaging in other online activities that make a person afraid for his or her safety.

How do people Cyberbully?

• Cyberbullying or Cyber-threating material—text or images—may be posted on personal web sites or blogs or transmitted via email, discussion groups, message boards, chat, instant messages, or texting.
• Sites and services have terms of use that prohibit posting harmful material.

Impact of Cyberbullying

• It is possible that the harm caused by cyberbullying may be greater than traditional bullying because:

  • – Online communications can be extremely vicious.
  • – There is no escape for those who are being cyberbullied —victimization is ongoing, 24/7.
  • – Cyberbullying material can be distributed worldwide and is often irretrievable.
  • – Cyberbullies can be anonymous and can solicit the involvement of unknown “friend so the target may not know whom to trust.
  • – Teens may be reluctant to tell adults what is happening online or through their cell phone because they are emotionally traumatized, think it is their fault, fear greater retribution, or fear online activities or cell phone use will be restricted.
  • – There are reports of cyberbullying leading to suicide, school violence (including one school murder), school failure, and school avoidance.

Why are Good Kids Engaging in These Behaviors?

Brain Development
• Teens are in process of developing frontal lobes that allow for reasoned and ethical decision-making.
• Learning to make reasoned and ethical decisions requires attention to the connection between actions and consequences.

Link to article about teen brains

– Use of technologies interferes with recognition of connection between action and consequences.
– You can’t see me.
• Perception of invisibility, creation of anonymity removes concerns of detection and resulting disapproval or punishment.
– I can’t see you.
• Lack of tangible feedback of impact of online actions interferes with recognition of harm caused, and resulting empathy and remorse.

Online Social Norms
• “Everybody does it.”
• “Life online is just a game.”
• “It’s not me—it’s my online persona.”
• “What happens online, stays online.”
• “I have the free speech right to write or post anything I want regardless of the harm it might cause to another.”
• “If I can do it, it must be okay.”

Exploration of Identity
• Social networking profile becomes vehicle to present emerging self-image.
– Which includes emerging sexuality.
• Social status games.
– Teens are using social networking as vehicle to establish their “place” within their social community.

Source: Nancy Willard:

Articles and Videos


Student Unsafe Online Behavior

Unsafe Personal Disclosure
• Many teens appear to have limited understanding of potential harm or damage from inappropriate information disclosure.
– But are highly sensitive to any intrusion by parents or other responsible adults.
• Simplistic rule - “Do not disclose personal information online” - is insufficient.

Addictive Access
-Addictive access is an excessive amount of time spent using the Internet resulting in lack of healthy engagement in other areas of life.
-Social networking addiction.
-Social anxiety over acceptance and status.
-Gaming addiction.
-Lack of healthy peer connections.

Online Strangers
• Teens will have increasing engagement with online strangers.
• Sometimes teens will want to meet in-person with an online stranger.
• Most strangers are safe, but some are not.
• Learning to assess the safety of someone met online and knowing how to arrange for a safe meeting (and when not to) is an essential new safety skill.

Brain Development
• Teens are in process of developing frontal lobes that allow for reasoned and ethical decision-making.
• Learning to make reasoned and ethical decisions requires attention to the connection between actions and consequences.

Unsafe Online Communities
• Depressed teens becoming involved in “pro-choice” self-harm communities.
– Suicide.
– Cutting.
– Anorexia.
– Passing out.
• Find acceptance from like-minded peers.
• Leads to contagion of unhealthy attitudes and behavior.

Targeting Staff
• Students posting harmful material targeting teachers or other staff.
• Could be a range of material:
– Staff person is targeted because of some perceived status issue, such as sexual orientation or obesity.
– Obnoxious attention-seeking student.
– “Youthful exuberance,” a convenient target, and a lack of sensitivity to the harm caused.
– Objections to the actions or policies of the school or staff.
– Student has legitimate/imagined feelings that he or she has been bullied or mistreated by the teacher.

What Can Parents Do?

Set Internet Rules
These questions are the basis for Internet rules.

  1. What sites will you visit? (Set rules for the type of websites your child may visit.)
  2. Who will you talk to? (Set rules for chatrooms, instant messaging, e-mails, and webcam use.)
  3.  How long will you be online? (Encourage children to have interests other than Internet use.)

Keep the computer in a common room
This is one of the most important Internet safety messages. Supervision by parents and guardians can be an effective method of protecting children online. Often parents/guardians are more concerned with monitoring television viewing than with allowing unsupervised access to the Internet. Putting the computer in a common room will only be effective if you also actively supervise your child or teen while they are online. Be concerned when your child minimizes a screen when you enter the room.

Discuss the importance of telling you or
a trusted adult if anything ever makes your
child feel scared, uncomfortable, or
confused while online

Prepare yourself beforehand
Be open with your children and encourage them
to confide in you

Educate yourself about technologies and use the web!

Consider safeguarding options

Filtering software restricts access to
inappropriate material

Monitoring software records websites visited,
chat conversations, and other content so you can view what you child is doing

See my below for ideas on how to find filtering software


Teach children not to put themselves at risk by not posting information that can be used against them.

Teach children to pay attention to how they are communicating. They should not insult, tease, harass or bully others.

Teach children not to hang around online in places where people treat others badly.

If Your Child is Cyberbullied
Don't retaliate! This only gives the cyberbully a "win" and could make other people think your child is the problem.

They should calmly and strongly tell the cyberbully stop and to remove any harmful material or you will take further action.

Tell your child to ignore the bully and block the communication and remove any friendship links.

Save the evidence. Try to figure out who the cyberbully is. You can do this by contacting the internet service provider or social networking site.

File a complaint with the ISP (internet service provider) or cell phone company. Contact MySpace if the problem takes place there. They have parent links for just such an event.

If the person is a friend, contact the bully's parents. Be sure to have evidence of the bullying to show the parents.

If the person goes to the same school contact the school principal or counselor. Again, save the evidence of the bullying including screen names, email accounts and all communications.

You can contact an attorney to send a letter or file a lawsuit against the parents of the cyberbully.

You or the school can contact the police if the cyberbulling includes any threats or is a crime.

Source: Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use