1. What should you do if you/ someone you know were being cyber-bullied?
Cyber-bullying is the using of social media to spread rumors, pictures, mean messages/insults, or statements to exclude an individual or group. Examples can include Facebook, Twitter, text messages, blogs, email and websites like Ask.fm.
There are steps you can take to prevent cyber-bullying. First, keep your private information private on social media sites. Use privacy settings that will block your personal email, phone number and address. Use “friends only” settings for your posts. Accept friend requests or followers from people you know and trust. “Pause before you post” any pictures or information that may not represent you in the best possible light.
If you are being cyber-bullied don’t respond and block the person(s) involved. Tell a trusted adult immediately. Parents can be a great resource and source of support. Olathe Northwest has an on-line bullying report form that both students and parents have access to. The school will monitor and intervene with the cyber activity that occurs during academic time or school sponsored events or any additional activity that causes a disruption during the school day.
2. What is the on-line anti-bullying report at ONW?
Olathe Northwest created on-line access to a bullying report form in 2008. It can be accessed through the ONW webpage (onwravens.net) and is open to students, adults, and the public. Each submission is automatically sent to all the guidance counselors, the school psychologist and the social worker. Depending on the time the report is sent it is either addressed the same day or the morning of the next day. Administrators are contacted for each incident to determine the discipline response if appropriate.
The on-line report form: http://www.onwravens.net/bullying-incident-report-form/
3. How aware are adults of social media sites that bully others like ASK.FM?
Websites, blogs and created media accounts are constantly changing. As soon as one site becomes known for its harmful activity another site has been launched and will grow in members until that one too creates its successor.
Adults, including parents and teachers, can help guide students through the responsible use of social media but the biggest impact can be made by those using the sites. Don’t! If a website has questionable or harmful content don’t support the message by engaging in its use. Avoid sites that are damaging and refrain from spreading the information that is found there. The best choice a person can make in this situation is to simply not post or participate.
4. Would it still be considered bullying behavior if it’s between friends?
There is no simple answer but in short: Yes, it absolutely can be. Relational or, what is sometimes called social bullying, is bullying behavior that occurs within peer groups or between friends. This behavior is designed to assign/keep status with the group, isolate a member of the group or to gain the upper hand in a particular situation of argument.
Relational/social bullying is often the hardest form to bullying to detect because it does occur among friends and may look like “goofing around” or “teasing/joking” to the adult or bystander. One person may not consider their actions to be bullying behavior whereas the target does. It can be difficult for the target to speak up out of fear of losing their friend(s) and thereby becoming further isolated or an easier target for another bully. The target will then pretend to go along with the teasing as a means to survive.
Do friends tease? Do friends have inside jokes? Do friends sometimes disagree? Yes!! The difference between these and bullying behavior is balance of power. Remember, friends treat friends like friends!
5. How common is cyber-bullying at ONW?
Olathe Northwest conducted a school wide bullying survey in 2012. According to the results of that survey ONW is consistent with the national average.
- 14% of all students reported that they had been bullied electronically
- 32% of all students reported that they had seen or heard others bullied electronically
- 34% of all students have seen or heard someone being bullied on FB
- 4% of all students have bullied someone else electronically
6. What do you do if you know the person who is cyber-bullying? How can you stop it before someone gets hurt?
If you know that someone is engaging in bullying behavior of any kind you have several options:
- If you are comfortable you can discuss the behavior with the person. Peers often have more influence over each other than adults. Encourage them to stop the behavior. They might not realize what they are doing is uncomfortable or damaging to someone else.
- Tell a trusted adult. Parents can be supportive and help you make decisions on how to proceed. Teachers/staff can be supportive to both you and the target of the bullying. Administration can take appropriate actions if they are aware.
- Use the on-line reporting system. You can choose to remain anonymous when completing the form.
- You can stand-up for the target by distancing yourself from the person engaging in the bullying behavior so not to appear as a bystander. You can offer support to the target so that he/she doesn’t remain isolated.
7. What does ONW Do to combat bullying behavior?
Olathe Northwest is dedicated to creating a sustainable culture of kindness in both academic and social opportunities. It is our belief that shining a light on the kindness that occurs within our walls has more of a meaningful and lasting impact. With this is mind Olathe Northwest created a yearlong plan to highlight our strengths and build a strong Raven Pride community.
Throughout the year, school administration and staff focus on the positives within our Raven community through the Raven Prop Box. The school participates in assemblies, hosts guest speakers, and incorporates pro-social learning into seminar times. ONW Raven Pride tweets the inspirational theme of the week each Monday and The Safe and Civil Schools committee focuses on a theme each month to reinforce the “one Raven family” culture at Olathe Northwest.