The internet is the single most accessible venue for socializing. While it can be a resource for connecting people across the miles, it can also be used as a tool to perpetrate varying forms of harassment. Cyberbullying, as it’s known, is a form of bullying that occurs using electronic technology. It can include the use of social media, texting, chatting or posting on websites using cell phones, computers or tablets.
Children and teens are the main targets and perpetrators of cyberbullying. According to The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, kids who are being cyberbullied are often bullied in person, too, and they have a harder time getting away from the behavior. Kids fall victim to messages or images that “can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience… [and] sometimes [it’s] impossible to trace the source.” Some kids have a hard time understanding that once they’ve posted something on the internet, it can’t be erased.
StopBullying.gov reports that kids who are cyberbullied are more likely to use alcohol and drugs, skip school, make poor grades, have lower self-esteem, and have more health problems overall. The National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics says that at least seven percent of students in middle school and high school have experienced cyberbullying. The Centers for Disease Control & Preventionreported that 15% of high school students were electronically bullied in the past year. These statistics suggest that the cyberbullying “trend” is continuing to grow.
3rd Millennium Classrooms designed Respect & Resolve as a prevention and intervention course for high school students to address such issues. It guides teens toward safe and healthy interpersonal relationships and behavior. They explore crucial concepts for building self-esteem and conflict resolution skills. The motivational interviewing style of Respect & Resolve allows students to establish their own strategies for overcoming peer pressure and helps them improve their communication with peers and adults.