Cyberbullying and On-line Harassment
Cyberbullying and Online Harassment
Cyberbullying and online harassment can be extremely distressing. They can even be classed as criminal offences in some cases.
However, there are plenty of organisations you can turn to for help, including charities, social media service providers, and the police.
Below is an overview of what online bullying is, how you can help your child to avoid it, and where you can go for advice.
What is cyberbullying and online harassment?
Making comments or posts online that are deliberately abusive, offensive, threatening, or inflammatory.
Liking and sharing this kind of abuse can also count as bullying and harassment.
Online bullies and harassers use all sorts of platforms, including social media (like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram), forums, gaming sites, comments sections, mobile phone chat groups and more.
There is a very detailed definition of cyberbullying at:
How Parents can Help
Barrs Court School encourage parents to monitor their child using the internet, and if necessary to restrict or prevent access if you think cyberbullying could be a problem (either as a victim or perpetrator)
If your child needs to have a phone (for example for travel training) simple phones that do not have the internet can be purchased cheaply. Please ask if you need advice about this.
Ask your child to show you which social media apps they use and what they like about them. Talk about how they use them and what makes them so engaging.
Explain how you can use privacy settings to make sure only approved friends can see posts & images.
Show them how to report offensive comments or block people who upset them.
Check ‘tagging’ settings so that when others are posting or sharing photos online, your child’s identity is not revealed. Also, get people‘s consent before sharing photos.
Encourage your child to come and talk to you if they see anything that upsets them.
Encourage your child to think carefully about the way they, and others behave online, and how they might deal with difficult situations.
Advice you can give your child to help them stay safer
Respect and protect – yourself and others
Before you post - think…
- How will the person receiving this feel about it?
- Is it something I would be happy to receive or have said about me?
- What effect could it have?
- What does being a good friend and a likeable person online look like? Am I being a good friend with this message?
Never post comments that are abusive, threatening or are likely to cause offence to others.
Keep personal information personal
- Even if you think your messages are private, remember that words and images can always be captured and broadcast.
- Do not say anything or publish pictures that might later cause you or someone else embarrassment.
- Be aware of what friends post about you, or how they reply to your posts – particularly about your personal details and activities.
- Keep your profiles closed, allowing access only to your chosen friends and family.
- There can be pressure to be part of a particular group online or to be seen to be following a certain set of ideas. How can you take a step back and make your own decisions?
Where to go for Advice
Social media help sections can show you how to block users, change your privacy and contact settings, and report abusive content:
Report cyberbullying to internet service providers
Lots of content online is offensive or upsetting. It is not always a criminal offence, but it often violates the terms and conditions established by social media sites and internet service providers. Service providers are often keen to take action against users who abuse their terms of service.
If you believe that your child is the victim of online bullying, keep a record of the content (for example, take a screenshot). You can use this to help your report to the service provider and, if necessary, the police.
If you feel that School would be best placed to deal with the matter then please call and ask to talk to one of our Safeguarding Team.