Is your child struggling with cyberbullying? Read our blog and learn when to get the school involved.

School is supposed to be a place where children learn, socialize, play and grow. The farthest thought from a parent’s mind is their child coming home from school depressed, withdrawn, hurt, injured or sad. 

Unfortunately, we see too many cases of bullying in the schools today, including cyberbullying. Growing up decades ago, when one thought of a bully, they would associate it with the playground or recess time at school or after school. 

Today, bullying has stepped up to new measures, especially with the use of social media websites and apps.

6 Questions Parents Should Ask About Cyberbullying

Parents struggle with this issue daily. Some of the questions that come to mind are:

  • How did this happen?

  • Who is involved?

  • Does the school know what is going on?

  • What are the other parents doing about this?

  • When should I get the school involved?

  • Should I call the parents of the child who is bullying my child?

While there is no perfect answer to most of these questions, there are actions that can be taken in order to deal with a bullying incident. 

If a child is being bullied by another student (even if it takes place outside of the school property) parents and the school needs to address this with all parties involved.

Detecting the Signs of Cyberbullying

One of the most common issues is that parents don't always know when their child is being bullied. Teachers may be able to detect some of these behaviors quicker at times, but often times, parents are the last to know. 

This is one reason why schools must understand and be trained on the “red flags” if someone is being bullied in their classroom. It's important to have the facts and evidence collected before making any accusation of bullying. 

Here are a few warning signs of cyberbullying that can help parents spots problems:

  • Depression

  • Withdrawn from friends/family

  • Grades start decreasing

  • Lack of sleep or sleeping all of the time

  • Weight Loss/Gain

  • Mood swings

  • Fighting more with friends/family

If parents start to see these signs, it is imperative to document everything. Collecting data on these behaviors, including dates, times, and specific details is needed to help you present your case. Surprisingly, it's not recommended to contact the bully’s parents, since in most cases they will defend their child, deny any allegations and possibly turn the story around on your child. 

Tips for Parents

If a school has their own School Resource Officer, this is a great resource to tap into. They often have the legal advice that parents may need if the incident escalates.

Many times, bullies will harass their victim online, so if parents have intercepted any social media posts, it's important to screen shot all posts. This will serve as evidence when presented to the school. 

If parents suspect that their child is being bullied, it's much better if they present the evidence to the school when reporting it. Many of these cases are hearsay, which can be more difficult to prove. Many parents of bullies will defend their children, unless hard evidence is provided.

Monitoring solutions for families to use at home and school that have remote access and alerts is an essential tactic that families can use to be on top of what is going on in their child’s life. 

Above all else, having an open relationship with your child and your child’s school is crucial in order to nurture the learning environment. 

For more help, download our Cyberbullying Guidebook for Parents.

About Susan Wind

Susan Wind is a college professor who has provided training to financial institutions all over the U.S. relating to cybercrimes. Her most recent program, Parents kNOwmore is working with schools all over the country, educating students, parents and faculty on social media awareness and cyberbullying.

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