Cybersafety

Expert’s tips for parents to stop cyber-bullying

Social media is more accessible than ever – with the rise of smartphones and tablets, it has never been easier to jump online.

For young people, it means being more connected than any other generation – friends are never more than a tweet away.

Unfortunately this has also led to a rapid increase in cyberbullying– to the point that at least one in 10 children are cyberbullied each year.

Cyberbullying can be very different from traditional bullying, and many parents can feel ill-equipped to respond if their child is being cyberbullied.

Susan McLean (pictured right), a former police officer and Australia’s leading cybersafety expert, said even if parents have no experience with social media, by following a few basic steps, parents can effectively support their children to be safe online.

'Parenting in the 21st century requires you to be able to parent in the digital space,' Ms McLean said. 'Technology is firmly entrenched in our lives and that of our children so we need the tools to deal with issues as they arise.

'It’s really important that if your child is being cyberbullied, you don’t cut them off from social media and take their technology away - the vast majority of kids won't tell a parent if they are bullied and harassed online for fear of losing access. They would much rather put up with the bad to keep the good.'

Ms McLean said when confronted with their child being cyberbullied, parents should follow the cyberbullying quick response checklist:

  • Reassure and comfort
  • Don't respond
  • Block and delete bully
  • Report to the site
  • Keep a copy
  • Tell school (or relevant place) and seek action
  • If ongoing inform police
  • Support your child as they have done nothing wrong

The Department’s Bully Stoppers website has a range of advice for parents, students and teachers about how to respond to all types of bullying.


Susan McLean is Australia's leading cybersafety expert and was a member of Victoria Police for 27 years. She was the first Victorian Police officer appointed to a position involving cybersafety and young people. She was one of several experts who authored the Bully Stoppers Resource and is a published author. Her book Sexts Texts and Selfies - how to keep your child safe in the digital space is available now.

   

 

Bully Stoppers: Being Cool Online

Students achieve their best at school in safe and supportive environments, where they are free from bullying and disruptive behavior.  We put a big emphasis on making sure we provide a great environment for our students – one that promotes tolerance and is inclusive, harmonious and free from bullying.

We can work towards this goal through education in the classroom, intervention in the playground and a focus on promoting positive behavior.

However, with the rise of social media, bullying now occurs online, as well as in person. 

Cyberbullying is just as harmful as face-to-face bullying, and online actions can have real life consequences. 

Cyberbullying is an increasing issue in the wider community – and the best way to tackle it is for schools, students and parents to work in partnership.

Werribee Primary School is supporting the Victorian Government’s Bully Stoppers campaign – which has just launched a new series of tools and resources for parents and students to support students in preventing cyberbullying and how to practice Netiquette.  Available from 10 February, students in years 3 – 12 are encouraged to participate in an online quiz hosted on the Bully Stoppers website, where they will learn more about how to be good net citizens and go into the draw to win an iPad as well as other prizes for our school.

These resources, called Bully Stoppers: Being Cool Online, are available on the Bully Stoppers website, at www.education.vic.gov.au/bullystoppers - visit the site to find out more.

 

Bully Stoppers: Speak Up Against Cyberbullying

Students achieve their best at school in safe and supportive environments, where they are free from bullying and disruptive behaviour.

We put a big emphasis on making sure we provide a great environment for our students – one that promotes tolerance and is inclusive, harmonious and free from bullying.

We can work towards this goal through education in the classroom, intervention in the playground and a focus on promoting positive behaviours.

However, with the rise of social media, bullying now occurs online, as well as in person. Cyberbullying is just as harmful as face-to-face bullying, and it can occur at any time of the day.

Cyberbullying is an increasing issue in the wider community – and the best way to tackle it is for schools, students and parents to work in partnership.

Werribee Primary School is supporting the Victorian Government’s Bully Stoppers campaign – which has just launched a new series of tools and resources for parents and students to support students in preventing cyberbullying.

These resources, called Bully Stoppers: Speak Up Against Cyberbullying, are available on the Bully Stoppers website, at www.education.vic.gov.au/bullystoppers - visit the site to find out more.

 

Student Internet and Email Access

The Internet supports teaching and learning by providing teachers and students with access to current worldwide information and unique opportunities for collaborative work as well as a place to publish the results of their learning. Access via the Werribee Primary School network is password protected, for educational purposes and under teacher supervision.  All students and staff at our school have censorship filtered internet and email access after signed parental permission.

 

Links for Parents

For more information from the Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner - click here

For more information on cyberbullying from the AMCA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) click here.

 

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