Respond to Cyberbullying: Prevention

Schools can take a proactive approach to support respectful online behaviour and prevent cyberbullying. School-wide policies and practices promote a positive relationship with technology for everyone.

8 Steps to a Comprehensive Approach to Address Cyberbullying

  1. Engage in participatory planning – Incorporate cyberbullying concerns into safe schools planning and include district technology staff as well as non-school participants (e.g. parents, community agencies, law enforcement) on the school safety committee.
  2. Conduct a needs assessment – Conduct a survey of students to identify incident rates, locations of incidents (at or outside school), and factors that may prevent incident reporting.
  3. Ensure an effective anti-bullying program is in place – Programs should encourage empathy, peer norms against bullying and effective administrative responses when students report bullying.
  4. Review and revise internet policies and procedures – Policies should prohibit use of mobile communication devices and digital image devices in school to engage in harmful communication.
  5. Conduct professional development – All staff need a basic understanding of cyberbullying and should be alerted to related issues, especially those around detection.
  6. Provide parent education – Keep parents informed, sharing strategies to prevent cyberbullying, how to detect it and intervene, as well as the potential consequences if their child is engaged in it.
  7. Provide student education – Incorporate lessons on cyberbullying into existing curriculum.
  8. Evaluate – Evaluate prevention and intervention program periodically to determine effectiveness.

From Educator’s Guide to Cyberbullying: Addressing the Harm Caused by Online Social Cruelty by Nancy Willard, Director, Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use.

Top 10 Tips

Compiled by cyberbullying experts Sameer Hinduja and Justin W. Patchin, this list of the top 10 tips for educators provides specific guidance for those in the school system to reduce the vulnerability of students to online harassment. From assessing the scope of the problem in your school to developing clear rules to cultivating a positive school climate, this document can guide you in your cyberbullying prevention efforts.

School Climate 2.0

Bullying isn’t new, but with the rise of social media and mobile phones, some of its venues are. In this book, cyberbullying experts Sameer Hinduja and Justin W. Patchin connect the off-campus, high-tech behaviours of students to the school environment and provide educators with a road map for developing a positive school climate that counteracts cyberbullying. Learn more on the book website.




About our sources

Nancy Willard is director of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use. She has degrees in special education and law, has taught “at risk” children and practiced computer law, and was an educational technology consultant before focusing on issues of youth risk online and management of student Internet use. Learn more…

Sameer Hinduja is an Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University and Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. He is a member of the Research Advisory Board for Harvard University’s Internet Safety Task Force. Learn more…

Justin W. Patchin is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. For more than a decade he has been exploring the intersection of teens and technology, with particular focus on cyberbullying, social networking, and sexting. Learn more…