Community Matters Blog
Read our blog posts below by Rick Phillips, Executive Director, staff members and guest bloggers, as they discuss the issues of bullying, cyberbullying and school climate.
With the widespread adoption of social media and smartphones by teens and even younger children, bullies have another playground in which to inflict meanness on their targets: cyberspace.
One of our forward thinking principals had already brought the Safe School Ambassadors Program (SSA) to our district, having learned of it from a friend in another district. As our JPA promoted SSA to more schools, we determined that beside the social and cultural benefits of reducing acts of bullying, it was also likely to reduce the number of insurance claims.
Research shows that suicide-related behaviors are caused by a myriad of factors, and are often not related to a single cause or incident. We also know that bullying/cyberbullying is one of the contributing factors in students turning to suicide as a “solution” to their problems.
When school norms change from meanness and indifference to kindness and compassion, that’s when disciplinary incidents and suspensions begin to decrease and students can get back to focusing on learning.
Just like in the real world, it’s important to recognize that as wonderful as the internet can be when it comes to sharing information, learning, and even connecting with the people we care about - it also has a darker side. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for children to stray into the seedier parts of the online world without even realizing what they’re doing.
In a remarkably short time, social media has become the leading method by which teens connect, communicate, and share interests. It is crucially important for families and educators to develop and maintain an awareness of social media channels and apps.