By Ellen Krogmann | 

We all know that bullying can be devastating to kids. It always has. But now technology provides another means to harass, threaten, embarrass, and target another person.

Intervene when you see bullying happening can make our schools and community a safer place to learn and grow.   Research shows responding quickly and consistently to bullying can stop bullying behavior over time. 

This past summer, Mentoring Connection for Delaware County hosted a Social Networking and Bullying Training presented by Joy Jager.  Adults gathered together to learn about how youth use this technology to bully and what we as caring adults can do to respond and prevent it.

One person said, “Joy’s passion for her job and the topic was obvious and made the presentation credible.”
 

Here are 5 of Joy’s things adults should know about social networking and bullying.

  1. Internet Crimes have increased in all counties.  No area is immune from this type of hurt. It is best to pay attention to  your child’s internet time. What sites are they on? Who are they talking to? It is important to know you child’s internet history and passwords so you can keep in-tuned with their social networking and keep the lines of communication open.
  2. All school have anti-bullying policies. Know what your youth’s school policy is, how to report bullying to them, and what their process is for preventing it from happening. If you feel that the policy is missing something, get parents together to encourage the school to update and revise it to best protect your student.
  3. Don’t ever use conflict resolution with bullying – this re-victimizes the child being bullied. Conflict resolution re-victimizes the bullied person.  Instead, take each person aside one on one.  Listen to their take on the incident.  Ask the targeted person what they would like to see happen.  Then follow up.  The target has a right to know what measures are being taken to keep them safe.  It is also important to follow up as often times the bully’s friends will join in after the bully has been disciplined.  Keep following up and ASK the target what you can do to help them.  This is about empowering the victim.
  4. Tell children to Stop-Block-Tell when it comes to the internet. Children need to STOP letting the bully victimize them by cutting off communication with them. They need to BLOCK social correspondence with the bully by changing their privacy settings,  and they need to TELL a parent, guardian, or teacher right away.
  5. Kids need to know that their parents are going to advocate for them. By showing interest in their online social life, you show you care.  “Going to advocate” means you will stand up for and with the victim to assure that the incidents of bullying stop.  Tell them you believe them, this is not their fault and they deserve to be treated with respect.

 
Bullying happens both on and offline.  As mindful adults we can better respond, prevent and protect our youth.  We need to remain consistent with our response to all instances of bullying.  Support the targets of the bully and model the respectful behaviors we want to see in our children and communities.
 
Together, we can end violence.

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Joy Jager, Riverview Center Violence Prevention Educator/ Legal and Medical AdvocateJoy has been an advocate and educator with the Riverview Center since 2007. An Iowa CASA certified educator and advocate and Iowa Victims Assistance Academy graduate, she is on the Foundation for the Future of Delaware County board and the “Date Safe” project book review board. In addition, Joy helped develop the “Coaching Girls Into Women” curriculum. Due to her dedication, she was nominated for the 2012 National Crime Victim Service Award. She is licensed in Iowa and Illinois and provides violence prevention education, victim advocacy, and treatment referral services to over 50,000 residents, seven school districts, five law enforcement agencies, and 2 county attorney’s offices.

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