Students attending Park Ridge Public Schools discuss bullying issues through out the school year. One area that is covered is cyberbullying which can occur through text messaging and social websites on the Internet. Students can access the internet on the computer, cell phones and other devices, which are all a major source of on-line interaction, and potential bullying. The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) recommends that parents have a conversation with their children about cyberbullying. The following information is from the NCPC on what parents can do to help stop cyberbullying:
What Kids Need to Know:
- Never give out personal information online, whether in instant message profiles, chat rooms, blogs or personal websites.
- If someone sends a mean or threatening message, don't respond. Save it or print it out and show it to an adult.
- Never open emails from someone you don't know or from someone you know is a bully.
- Don't put anything online that you wouldn't want your classmates to see, even in email.
- Don't send messages when you're angry. Before clicking "send," ask yourself how you would feel if you received the message.
- Help kids who are bullied online by not joining in and showing bullying messages to an adult.
- Always be as polite online as you are in person.
What Parents Can Do:
- Keep your home computer in a busy area of your house.
- Set up email and chat accounts with your children. Make sure that you know their screen names and passwords and that they don't include any personal information in their online profiles.
- Regularly go over their instant messenger "buddy list" with them. Ask who each person is and how your children know him or her.
- Discuss cyberbullying with your children and ask if they have ever experiences it or seen it happen to someone.
- Tell your children that you won't blame them if they are cyberbullied. Emphasize that you won't take away their computer privileges – this is the main reason kids don't tells adults when they are cyberbullied.
Lastly, please review the attached documents on "What is Cyberbullying?", "Cyberbullying Tips for Teens" for additional information. Please do not hesitate to contact your school Anti-Bullying Specialist, Principal or the District Anti-Bullying Coordinator if you have any questions.
Mrs. Lisa Bernardo
Director of Special Services/District Anti-Bullying Coordinator