Most cyberbullying happens outside school hours. Parents can feel helpless with nowhere to turn. Students can feel scared – if they tell parents or teachers they might be more exposed. Or worse still they will be taken off line. Mobile phones and Facebook are their connections to their world. We used to watch TV shows so that we had something to talk about the next day at school; Countdown, Neighbours, the footy, children nowadays talk about conversations that happened on MSN or pictures someone uploaded, or who said what to whom on Facebook. Sometimes as strange as it might sound children prefer to endure the bullying than risk being cut off from their peers. So often nothing is done and the bully is free to continue or attack someone else.
We suggest the following:
- Never threaten to cut off their connection.
- Read the School Policy on Cyberbullying and discuss it with your child. This helps children understand that it is unacceptable and that they do not have to put up with it.
- Establish how long it has been happening, how often, and how much it is effecting your child. See What are the signs?
- Save all conversations, pages, images that can be used in evidence.
- Call the School, and discuss it with your child’s Level Manager or Head of House. Send or email in the page.
What can the School do?
If the abuse occurs outside of School hours and off the School network the School will speak to the children involved in the abuse and make contact with the parents of those children involved. Evidence such as print outs or emails of the abuse or offensive comment or image is helpful to the discussion. The School will protect your child by attributing the finding of the material to an anonymous child or parent. In our experience, this is often this is enough to stop the activity immediately. The School may also suggest strategies such as, ‘blocking’ or ‘deleting’ the offender, changing their password, resetting their privacy settings, changing their mobile phone number and so on.
If the abuse occurs at School and/or on the School network the School will disable the child’s account and an appropriate disciplinary consequence will be applied. Parents of the child will be informed and the child counselled on the expectati0ns of the School’s Internet Use Policy.
If it were to continue the School may encourage you to make contact with the police.
Staff to contact:
At Buckley House
Head of Campus: Mr Russell Feben
At Plenty Campus
Deputy Head of Campus/ Head of Secondary: Ms Renata Rowe
At The Ridgeway Campus
Deputy Head of Campus/Head of Senior Years: Mr Tim Byrnes
Deputy Head of Campus/Head of Middle Years: Mrs Stella Batsanis