Cyber Bullying: What to Look for and How to Stop It | Corona, CA

March 23, 2022 | Beau Yarbrough, Los Angeles Daily News

Most students report having been cyber bullied, but some schools have been able to reduce incidents by hiring additional counselors and creating online portals to report bullying and putting links to them everywhere.

(TNS) — Today’s kids face bullying and other dangers in two worlds, one online and the other offline.

“Parenting is parenting and digital spaces are just another place that kids hang out,” said Stephanie M. Reich, professor of education at UC Irvine.

A new Southern California News Group analysis shows that 33.5 percent of California secondary students reported being bullied or harassed in the past 12 months in an anonymous survey distributed in three-quarters of California school districts.

But the same kind of practical advice parents give their children before heading to school or a friend’s house can also protect them from cyber bullying online.

“When your kid is little and they want to go to the park, you don’t just open the door and say ‘There you go,’” Reich said.

According to a survey conducted between May and June 2021 by the Cyberbullying Research Center, 23.2 percent of children in America had been cyber bullied, with the highest numbers experienced by 15 year olds, 27.7 percent of whom had said they’d been bullied.

Cyber bullying can take many forms, from messages or social media posts intended to upset the target, online gossip, recording and posting offline bullying online, or impersonating bullying victims or creating doctored images to defame them.

In a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, 59 percent of teens surveyed said they’d experienced cyber bullying at some point.

“People always think about it as this dark shadowy thing that nobody is aware of that’s somehow different than what bullying is like,” Reich said. “But cyber bullying is a lot like in-person bullying.”

The consequences of cyber bullying, however, can be more severe than offline bullying, according to the National Institutes of Health. Cyber bullying victims are more likely to suffer from depression than those who are bullied in other ways, for example.

There are school districts in California that have much lower reported rates of bullying — some as low as one-third the statewide average. The rates are typically a result of improving school mental health climates, hiring additional counselors and implementing more robust anti-bullying policies and procedures.

More and more, school districts are taking what happens online as seriously as what happens on campus, according to Loretta Whitson, executive director of California Association of School Counselors.

“I can tell you that, many times, kids were pretty upset about being suspended when they (bullied) online, when they were at home,” she said. “But it disrupted education, and that was the rule.”

Districts with low rates of reported bullying often create online portals to report bullying and put links to them everywhere, including on students’ Chromebooks or other district-issued devices, by posting QR codes around campus and placing links on district and school websites. They also sometimes monitor how students use district devices and Internet use, flagging signs of bullying.

Jurupa Unified in Riverside County has both widespread links to the district’s bullying reporting line and uses software to flag when students visit inappropriate websites, including those dealing with drug use or self-harm.

The reporting tools have been getting a workout in the past two years.

“Since the pandemic, even during the virtual year, the actionable reports that have been put in have greatly increased,” said Monty Owens, the district’s director of educational equity.

The biggest way the districts combat cyber bullying, though, is the same way they combat it offline: By changing the school and district culture.

“One of the key characteristics of schoolyard bullying is that there’s a bunch of bystanders standing by, watching, not doing anything,” Reich said. “It’s the same in digital spaces. We want to train kids to intervene.”

That training is taking place in school districts with lower bullying rates. But Reich says there’s more work to do off school grounds to combat bullying.

“It’s really about a community that doesn’t tolerate it on the playground and they don’t tolerate it in digital spaces,” she said.

To get ahead of the issue, Reich said children should learn empathy to help prevent cyber bullying.

“If you’re empathetic, you’re not going to hurt others online and you’re less likely to tolerate it happening to other people online,” she said.

And that includes empathy for the bullies, too.

“Cyber bullies are often cyber-victims themselves,” she said.

Plus, she said, “they often have households that are not great. They have very neglectful parents or very laissez faire ones. They’re usually bullies because they’re trying to assert control.”

Reich believes parents should teach their children to be aware of the possible dangers online and how to avoid them, as well as develop trust with children so they are willing to share about things that concern or upset them.

“If you cultivate a high quality relationship with your child, you can have those conversations with them, whether it’s about digital spaces or offline,” Reich said.

With her own children, she gave her kids access to digital devices and the Internet gradually, based on their developmental stage. And just like talking about the hazards one could encounter on the way to the park, she spoke to her children about how algorithms for various social platforms shove engaging content at users without any concern about whether it’s healthy or accurate.

“We’re just trying to cultivate our kids being conscious and aware when they’re using devices,” she said.

And for parents looking for specific practical advice, the Boy Scouts — who have an online safety training course for scouts as young as first grade — have some tips:

Common types of cyber bullying

  • Flaming, trolling or trash talking by sending or posting hostile messages intended to upset others
  • Recording someone being harassed or bullied, then posting the video online for public viewing
  • Identify theft or impersonation
  • Doctored images
  • Physical threats
  • Spreading rumors or public shaming

Signs a child may be a victim of cyber bullying

  • Avoids computer, cell phone and other devices
  • Appears stressed when receiving an email, instant message or text message
  • Withdraws from family and friends
  • Reluctant to attend school or social events
  • Avoids conversations about their computer use
  • Exhibits signs of low self-esteem, including depression or fear
  • Has declining grades
  • Has poor eating or sleeping habits
  • Acts secretive when online

What to do if your child is being cyber bullied

  • Encourage your child not to respond to the bully
  • Do not erase the messages or pictures, and take screenshots and save them as evidence
  • Try to identify the individual doing the cyber bullying, even if the cyber bully is anonymous
  • If the cyber/gaming bullying is criminal — such as threats of violence, extortion, obscene or harassing phone calls or text messages, stalking, hate crimes or child pornography — contact the police

This story is part of a 2021 Data Fellowship with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism.

If you would like to learn more about random acts of kindness, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

21 Facts About Bullying You May Not Know | Corona, CA

bullying

No one likes a bully. And no one deserves to be bullied. Unfortunately, while it feels like you’re the only one enduring the pain that is associated with bullying, it is something that happens to so many of us in our lifetimes. In fact, there are some pretty awful statistics revolving around bullying. Thankfully, light always cast away darkness – and some of the most brilliant light comes from simple acts of kindness. So, don’t be afraid of the bullies and never let them get you down. You aren’t alone. And it will get better.

1. More than half of people under 25 have experienced bullying at some point.

2. 20% of people surveyed, said that they often experienced verbal bullying.

3. 24% of young people are worried about getting abuse online

4. People with a physical disability, are unfortunately more likely to experience bullying than a person without a physical disability.

5. 5% of people surveyed, said that they constantly experienced physical bullying.

6. Social exclusion is a form of bullying. That means, when your mates leave you out on purpose to hurt your feelings, they are indirectly bullying you.

7. More than a third of people go on to develop Social Anxiety and Depression as a direct result of bullying.

8. Almost a quarter of those who have been bullied have had suicidal thoughts.

9. Guys are more likely to bully someone than anyone else.

10.  Those who bully are far more likely to have experienced stressful and traumatic situations in recent times.

11. Of those who bullied daily, 58% had experienced the death of a relative.

12. Bullying is not an identity, but a learnt behavior.

13. The #1 most common reason why people experience bullying is because of attitudes towards their appearance, with attitudes towards hobbies & interests and clothing coming in close at second and third place.

14. 69% of people have admitted to doing something abusive to another person online

15. 62% of people said they were bullied by a classmate

16. People who identify as LGBT+ are more likely to experience bullying.

17. 26% of people reported experiencing cyberbullying in the past 12-months. (2019)

18. More than a quarter of people have had suicidal thoughts as a result of cyberbullying.

19. 35% of people have sent a screenshot of someone’s status to laugh at in a group chat.

20. Almost two-thirds of people agreed that social networks don’t do enough to combat cyberbullying.

21. 44% of people under 25 said that ‘real-life’ means ‘only things that happen offline.’

All statistics are taken from Ditch the Label research.

If you would like to learn more about random acts of kindness, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

How to Avoid the Haters | Corona, CA

We’ve all heard the term before, especially online. “Hater” is a new word used to describe a bully. They use hurtful and negative comments to not only bring someone down but make themselves feel better about themselves. It can be online, in your personal life or affecting something or someone you love. If online, they are often anonymous. Keyboard warriors, if you will. But a bully can be virtually anyone. Like bullying, hater behavior is something that a person does – it is not who they are, and it can be changed.

But why do they do it? Haters often pick on people whom they perceive as being different from themselves. When inflicting these hurtful words, they understand that they are upsetting, can trigger feelings of anger, hurt, and confusion, and cause the person being criticized to question their self-worth and behavior.

Because it is often experienced online, it can be difficult to deal with a hater. Social media platforms are trying to monitor this, but it is almost an impossible task. In fact, there are a few ways you can avoid the haters in your everyday life. But there are some tips to consider if you’ve found you have a hater on your hands:

  • Ignore it and walk away without reacting or responding.
  • Block anyone online who are making negative or hateful comments on your posts or account, take screenshots and report them.
  • Be kind and respectful – killing them with kindness is a great way to not let it affect you emotionally.
  • Stick with supporters because there is strength in numbers.
  • Remind yourself that comments from a hater are a reflection of them, not you.
  • Understand criticism can be a sign of pain.
  • Acknowledge your feelings.
  • Keep being you.

If you would like to learn more about bullying prevention tips, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Wear Orange for Unity Day! | Corona, CA

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time of year that we take pause to realize that bullying comes in many forms and is extremely hurtful, but we should all be willing to do something to prevent it from happening.

This year, Unity Day falls on October 20th and is one event that has been recognized in the U.S. since 2011 and is celebrated with individuals, schools, communities, and businesses wearing or sharing the color orange to unite for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion to prevent students being bullied. And what a great cause to get behind! After all the chaos that we’ve had to endure the past couple of years, it is important to look after each other in the most positive way possible.

I know what you may be thinking, why the color orange? Because October is an autumn month that includes Halloween, and Halloween’s mascot is the pumpkin, orange is the perfect warm color to represent that inviting feeling we are trying to convey to others. Not only that, but orange is a bright color that is associated with safety and visibility, and that is exactly the point we are trying to make – we need to radiate empathy and warmth towards others each and every day.

In the past, there have been many examples of groups and businesses participating. In 2013, the iconic Green Giant statue in Blue Earth, MN wore an orange toga and lit up the night sky with an orange glow. TLC of the Discovery Channel made their logo orange for the day. Others have tied orange ribbons to a fence or around a tree, offered an orange item for sale with proceeds to the National Bullying Prevention Center, or created a unity mural.

If you would like to learn more about Unity Day, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Child Protection Week Kicks Off with Launch of Anti-Bullying Campaign | Corona, CA

Bullying is a worldwide issue. Sometimes it’s nice to see how other countries are working to prevent it.

By Chulumanco Mahamba Time of article published 10h ago

Johannesburg – Basic Education Deputy Minister Dr Reginah Mhaule has urged parents to pay attention to the behaviour of their children and speak to them regularly about school.

This came as the department launched an anti-bullying campaign.

The Department of Basic Education partnered with sister departments, social partners, and key stakeholders to roll out its school violence and bullying prevention initiative on Friday at Tshepana Primary School in Orange Farm.

Child Protection Week started on Sunday, and will run until June 6 under the theme, Let us protect children during Covid-19 and Beyond.

The intervention against bullying came after 15-year-old Limpopo learner Lufuno Mavhunga committed suicide after the release of a video of her being repeatedly slapped by a fellow learner last month. After the incident, bullying and violence in schools took centre stage in the national conversation on safety in schools.

Speaking at the launch, Mhaule spoke about the importance of parents and guardians playing a role in school activities and being equipped with tools to make a meaningful contribution to the success of their children.

“Sometimes when incidents happen, we indicate that the child did speak but we did not listen and we did not take it seriously. I am saying to the parents, let’s observe the attitude and behaviour of our children,” she said.

Mhaule added that if parents saw their children behaving badly or they did not want to go to school, they must dig deeper in case it was related to bullying.

“Parents must pay attention to the behaviour of their children and speak to them regularly about school,” she said.

Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Pinky Kekana, cautioned parents about giving their children cellphones too early and the risk they might have to their well-being.

“Your behaviour on social media is very important. There are dos and don’ts. If you know you cannot say something to someone face-to-face, don’t say it on social media,” Kekana told the learners.

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Njabulo Nzuza, spoke to the learners about the ID registration services that the department brought to the community.

“It might seem like a very small issue having an identity, an ID number, ID document or even a birth certificate. If you don’t have an ID number, you become what they call invisible, and even after you have passed on in life, not even your great-grandchildren will know you existed,” the deputy minister said.

During the launch, the department revealed a mural at the school, which would serve as a reminder to learners that with every right, as set in the Constitution, came responsibilities.

“We call on all learners to appreciate that their rights are inseparable from the duties and responsibilities towards others,” it said.

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying efforts in other countries, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Student Bullying Facts and Statistics | Corona, CA

There’s no doubt that bullying has become a problematic epidemic in the United States, but just how much of a problem has it become? Whether it be cyber bullying or bullying in real life, just about everyone has experienced some degree of bullying throughout their lifetime. Though some children and teens experience bullying at high rates and with more persistence than others, just about every child around the country is mostly likely going to have some type of connection to bullying.

The following list includes many alarming and disheartening facts and statistics concerning both cyber bullying and bullying in real life:

Bullying Facts and Statistics

  • According to bully statistics, the percentage of students varies anywhere between 9% to 98%.
  • A study was conducted by the US National Library of Medicine, which explored bullying over 1025 students at the college level by students and teachers, it was found that out of 1025 undergraduates students, 24.7% bully other students occasionally while 2.8% do it very frequently.
  • 49% of children in grades four to 12 have been bullied by other students at school level at least once.
  • 23% of college students stated to have been bullied two or more times in the past month.
  • 20% of the US students in grades nine to 12 reported being bullied.
  • 71% of youth have witnessed bullying at school.
  • 70% of school staff have reported being a witness to bullying.
  • Statistics on Facebook bullying found that at least 1 million kids were bullied on Facebook in 2017 alone.
  • Youth with disabilities; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students; students that are overweight; and students that are perceived as “weak” or “insecure” are the most likely targets of bullies.

If you would like to learn more about bullying statistics, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

What Is Seth’s Law? | Corona, CA

Seth’s Law is named after a 13-year-old California student who tragically took his own life in 2010 after years of anti-gay bullying that his school failed to address. Now that we are in the midst of these types of discussions and legislations again, but on a national level, it’s a good idea to refresh our memories.

Seth’s Law requires public schools in California to update their anti-bullying policies and programs, and it focuses on protecting students who are bullied based on sexual orientation, gender identity/gender expression, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability, and religion.

California law says that all public-school students should have equal rights and opportunities. Yet many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students report that they experience significant bullying in California schools. And teachers, administrators, and other staff often fail to address the bullying when they see it.

What does state anti-bullying law require school districts to do?

  • Adopt a strong anti-bullying policy that specifically spells out prohibited bases for bullying, including sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression.
  • Adopt a specific process for receiving and investigating complaints of bullying, including a requirement that school personnel intervene if they witness bullying.
  • Publicize the anti-bullying policy and complaint process, including posting the policy in all schools and offices.
  • Post on the district website materials to support victims of bullying.
  • School personnel must intervene

Seth’s Law specifically contains the following requirement: “If school personnel witness an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, he or she shall take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so.”

(Education Code Section 234.1(b)(1))

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying efforts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Abbotsford Boy Aims to Educate with Anti-Bullying Bracelets | Corona, CA

bullying

BY RIA RENOUF

Posted Jan 26, 2021 7:11 pm PST Last Updated Jan 26, 2021 at 7:12 pm PST

ABBOTSFORD (NEWS 1130) — When nine-year-old Hudson Walters saw and heard some of his classmates being bullied, he was disappointed.

“A lot of kids in my school were getting bullied because of their weight, and how they look,” he tells NEWS 1130.

While Hudson is a big fan of telling the bullies to leave the victim alone and inviting the person at the receiving end of taunts to come play with him, he wanted to do more.

After some time to think about it, he decided to go to his mom to figure out if there was some way to send a message of kindness and positivity.

Tonight on @NEWS1130: we’re hearing from a 9 y/o boy in #AbbotsfordBC fundraising to give friendship bracelets to kids at his school. Hudson wants to share a message of positivity & to educate those who bully…he also wants to change the perception around bullies. Details at 7p.

— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) January 27, 2021

Karen Walters says she was proud to hear of her son’s ambitions, but he wasn’t sure how exactly to help.

“He was like, ‘I don’t really like calling kids bullies because they’re just kids and learning and they need to learn, so I want to show them a way to tell other kids that they’re your friend,’” she says.

They ended up going with friendship bracelets, and Hudson’s goal is to give one to each kid in his school just in time for Pink Shirt Day, which is set to take place on Feb. 24.

Hudson thinks that if kids may say or do something mean and they’re looking at the bracelet, it’ll make them think twice about their actions.

“I want it to succeed and I hope everyone has a voice,” he says.

Karen believes the bracelets will be a simple reminder that kindness is key.

“It’s hard when there’s a group of people, and he didn’t really know what to do in a group of people, and I said, ‘well, what about if you could give them something?’ And he said, ‘yeah! I could give them like…a friendship bracelet!’ And that would show them that they always have a friend.”

They’re looking forward to ordering the silicone bracelets – and hope to put the word ‘friendship’ on each one.

Just days after the GoFundMe was posted, Hudson’s efforts raised more than $600. His mother is hoping the extra money can be used for a program at the school that can help Hudson’s message continue to last.

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying efforts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Anti-Bullying Webcasts | Corona, CA

Being in a pandemic is not only rough on us mentally; but can also begin to take a toll on our relationships. Thankfully, there are lots of resources you can turn to if you feel that you or someone in your life is being affected by bullying. The more information we can gain about how to actively treat a situation, the easier it will be to correct a bad situation before it gets out of hand and causes more issues. Here are just a few webcasts to give you some handy tips:

Anti-Bullying Supports for Peers: Be an Upstander

Be an Upstander is a video for use with middle and high-school students. It demonstrates strategies that can turn bystanders (persons not directly involved in the bullying incident) into Upstanders, those who can help diffuse a bullying situation.

Anti-Bullying Strategies and Supports for Families: Supporting Individuals with Special Needs

We believe that all persons have the right to live life as the persons they are, with their similarities and differences to others, and not live in fear of being bullied.  This webcast shares a little bit about bullying in general, how it applies to individuals with disabilities, and some ideas that can help family members support the individual with special needs who is a part of their life.

Anti-Bullying Strategies and Supports for Educators:  Supporting Individuals with Special Needs

Did you know that 60% of students with disabilities report being bullied compared with 25% of students without disabilities? This is why we need to focus on how to help the students who are usually the most vulnerable in schools. This webcast shares information about bullying in general, how it applies to individuals with disabilities, and some ideas that can help school staff support the individual with special needs.

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying webcasts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

When Bullying Affects Our Bodies | Corona, CA

During this stressful time in our lives, it is important for us to look after one another more than it ever has been before. Not only is there no school or activities available but staying inside all day can become an issue for families living in close quarters. Bickering and rough housing is bound to happen, but that is completely natural. What isn’t natural is bullying others online or otherwise. Not only is it mean, but it affects the bullied more than one may think. Not only does bullying have a huge emotional impact for those on the receiving end, but it can have a significant adverse effect on health, both in terms of current and future health.

Mentally. Anyone who has ever been bullied knows the stress that it can bring to your life. This anxiety also leads to insomnia and disturbed sleep, which not only impacts on how we perform, but how we feel. Your mood becomes depressed, including a loss of confidence and reduced self-esteem.

Physically. Feelings of fear increases its production of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which trigger a number of changes within the body. General muscle pain and headaches is commonly experienced by those who are bullied. Abdominal pain, nausea and altered bowel habits are also commonly reported by people who have experienced bullying, as some bullied will have radical weight changes. Studies also show that when stressful situations are more prevalent, colds, flu, sore throats and chest infections are more likely to occur, as our white blood cells are not adequately prepared to fight the bacteria and viruses that cause these before they take hold.

If you would like to learn more about the affects of bullying, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.