As well all know, bullying is no longer just something which occurs in the playground, classroom or on a child’s journey to and from school. With the widespread use and acceptability of social media into all aspects of our lives, a new type of bullying has also evolved – namely cyber bullying.
The official government guidelines define ‘Cyber bullying’ as
“the use of Information and communications technology, particularly mobile phones and the internet, deliberately to upset someone else".
The place where cyber bullying is most prominent is via social media. However, social media can also be used to educate against bullying as well as being used to monitor any potential incidents.
So what can a school do to reduce incidents of bullying via social media networks?
There are various, easy steps which schools can be take tackle bullying via social media:
- Regularly check all the official school social media pages for any malicious or offensive comments. Such comments can then be removed quickly and before too much damage is caused. Ensure your administrator
- Appoint a specific staff member within the school to be responsible for such monitoring. Set up email notifications for each social media platform so they’re alerted when any posts are made. This means the school will be aware almost immediately when any unacceptable posts made on the school’s social media pages.
- Make use of any filters that the main social media platforms offer. For example, Facebook allows you to set restrictions that block profanities or particular names from being included in a post – make sure these restrictions are in place on all official school pages. Twitter enables you to block and report any users who post malicious or offensive comments.
- Make pupils aware of the above filters so they can use them effectively on their own Facebook and Twitter pages.
- Educate and train your pupils on social media bullying in respect of what it is, what affect it has on those being bullied and what to do if you they are a victim of bullying or know of someone who it. There are various websites which help with this and which can be brought into the classroom to assist such education such as http://ghostbuster.org/.
Finally, be proactive rather than reactive in your school’s approach. Embrace the existence of social media whilst being fully aware of the bullying that can occur within it and use it to your advantage as a school. Make full use of social media sites as part of your education against bullying. Some good links to follow include….
Not only will you be demonstrating that you take cyber bullying seriously. More importantly, you will be empowering your pupils to use social media more effectively to protect themselves from harm.
Would you like more information?
We’ll be running a social media training course for schools on Thursday 25th April that includes:
- How to use social networks to attract new pupils
- How to raise the profile of your school
- How to use social media safely and how to protect the privacy of both pupils and staff
For booking details and for more information, click on the button below….