1. Teach Resilience as a Skill

Teaching social and emotional resilience in schools and communities will have a greater effect than policy regulation or legislation in dealing with cyberbullying. Children should be taught a range of social and emotional skills early in school so that it will assist them in dealing with these issues. Skills like pro-social values, emotional skills, social skills and high-order thinking skills would better equip them should they be the victim of this unwanted behavior.

Lack of knowledge creates gaps, and allowing students to be part of the solution through their learning will enhance their ability to prevent and intervene in bullying situations sooner rather than later. If school is about preparing children for life, then digital literacy topics like cyberbullying should be no exception.

2. Create Better Resources

Scholars also need to be involved in the creation of materials or resources for the promotion of socially acceptable behavior, as well as front runners in raising awareness.

3. Allow for Community Involvement

Finally, platforms that allow for open discussions about what users do online and offline are also needed. Educating every area of our communities is just as important as the young people within them.

Dr. William Blake, principal of Stephan Decatur Middle School in Prince George’s County, Maryland, says he and his administration spend 85 percent of their time dealing with conflicts between their students that began on social media or text messages. He says that by educating and raising awareness, and forming partnerships with school, family and community organizations like SafeCyber that educates communities on topics like cyberbullying, that number will begin to drop.

More Effective than Turning to Law

Because cyberbullying knows no geographical boundaries and commonly occurs outside of school, the ethical and legal issues regarding cyberbullying provide concern for teachers, schools and parents due to limited clarity. Therefore, I argue that initiatives and programs which focus on the enhancement of positive relationships and the development of behavioral skills are more effective in dealing with the impacts of cyberbullying.

About the Author:

Reginald Corbett is the founder of SafeCyber, whose mission is to educate and promote cyber awareness to schools, community organizations, parents and care takers of youth. The organization aims to provide actionable information that’s easy to understand along with tools and resources needed to stay safe and secure while living in the “Internet of Things” age. He travels state to state raising awareness about cyber safety topics such as Cyberbullying, Dangers of Social Media Apps, Online Predators of Children, and Digital Footprint and Reputation. He is the author of the soon to be released book, “Protecting our Children in the Digital Age,” where he discusses how parents can protect their children by sharing his own experience with his teenage daughter. He also focuses on how technology can influence the behavior of youth and put their safety at risk while being constantly hyper-connected. SafeCyber is a proud partner of STOP. THINK. CONNECT., the global cyber security education and awareness campaign led by the National Cyber Security Alliance and in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security. Reginald can be contacted at info@safecyberedu.com or 800.851.5795.