The Age of Cyberbullying – Is Your School Community Prepared?

6 min read

| By Christine Schneider, K12 eResources Curriculum Specialist |

Modified from an article first published in the MAME (Michigan Association for Media in Education) Newsletter.

As one of the unfortunate side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, children are experiencing more stress. According to Verywell Family, cyberbullying has increased by 70% in recent months,1 likely due to social distancing measures making virtual interactions with peers more common. With that, it’s timely that October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Now more than ever, students need help. 

About Bullying and Cyberbullying

Statistics show that schools and families need to address bullying and support students. In September 2020, Ditch the Label released ”21 Facts about Bullying That You Probably Never Knew.” 2 Of the people who have been bullied, 37% later developed social anxiety; 36% developed depression; and almost 25% had suicidal thoughts. The top reasons for being bullied include appearance/looks (59%), interests/hobbies (46%), clothing choices (25%), and being called gay/lesbian when they are not (24%). People are more likely to be bullied if they identify as LGBTQIA+, are obese, or have a physical disability. Before the pandemic in 2019, 26% of people reported experiencing cyberbullying within the past year. In another article, Verywell Family stated that in June 2020, 59% of U.S. teens said they have been cyberbullied, and 58% of students stated that “teachers fail to adequately address cyberbullying.”3

Resources

What can schools and parents do to address cyberbullying issues? Are you prepared to bring bullying awareness to your community? As a content specialist at Gale, a Cengage company, I spend my days curating trusted content to help educators and families answer questions like these. I hope the following resources support your efforts to minimize—and ultimately eliminate—bullying.

Stomp Out Bullying. Their motto is “Standing up against hate, racism and discrimination. Changing the culture with inclusion, equality, civility and unity becomes our destiny.” There’s a number of great resources for schools, including antibullying activities throughout the month of October. Don’t miss:

PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. PACER offers many excellent resources to combat bullying, including:

  • PACER.org/Bullying: Parents and educators can access bullying prevention resources, which include educational and awareness toolkits, contest ideas, promotional products, and more.
  • PACER Teens Against Bullying: Created by and for teens, this is the place where middle and high school students can find ways to address bullying, take action, be heard, and own an important social cause.

Gale, a Cengage company. Next month marks my fifth year as an employee of Gale. I see Gale’s dedication to meeting the needs of students and teachers every day. I’m proud to be part of a company that puts learners first, especially in the areas of bullying and cyberbullying. And wherever learning is happening this year, with Gale, students and staff have unlimited, simultaneous access to Gale’s trusted content, with no special downloads or checkouts, making the content easier to use.

Student collections on Gale eBooks: Bullying has a significant effect on a student’s mental health. Gale partnered with the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation to create Cameron’s Collection for middle and high school students and Cameron’s Camp for Wellness for elementary school students. These collections support students’ mental health and provide a safe, age-appropriate space for them to explore the topics, often for the first time.

  • Helping a Friend Who Is Being Bullied, Rosen Young Adult, ISBN 9781499464559
    In this book, readers will discover the consequences of bullying, both as a target and a bystander. They’ll also learn ways to intervene in a bullying situation, how to seek adult help, and how to be empowered and recover from bullying.
  • Coping with Social Media Anxiety, Rosen Young Adult, ISBN 9781508176985
    This book offers a comprehensive yet accessible introduction to the concept of social media anxiety. It dispels many widespread myths and replaces them with up-to-date facts.
  • Coping with Cyberbullying, Rosen Young Adult, ISBN 9781508173908
    This book explores the alienation and rejection many youth experience from cyberbullying, a form of abuse that takes many forms and is often accompanied by social exclusion, physical abuse, and other dangers.

Gale eBooks: Professional Learning: Support professional learning for teachers and administrators with eBook titles from top publishers, like Corwin Press, ASCD, ISTE, Burgess Consulting Inc., Solution Tree, and more.

  • Bullying Today: Bullet Points and Best Practices, Corwin Press, ISBN 9781506335964
    You need to be ready for bullying. This book is organized so you can find the answers to make meaningful changes in the way you prevent and respond to bullying.
  • Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying, Corwin Press, ISBN 9781483349916
    This book is written for educators to help prevent, identify, and respond to cyberbullying. Chapters on cyberbullying basics, what cyberbullying looks like, and legal issues are included.

    Don’t overlook the “Resource A. Cyberbullying Scenarios for Discussion” section on page 227! Set up a Padlet to create a discussion thread for each scenario so staff can respond to each thread.
  • Cyberbullying and the Critical Importance of Educational Resources for Prevention and Intervention, Information Science Reference, ISBN 9781522580775
    This book is a collection of innovative research on the methods and applications of policies and other strategies that identify and prevent online harassment among middle and high school students.

For more information about Gale’s resources, and to find out about special antibullying eBook packages for the month of October 2020, contact your Gale education consultant


1. Sherri Gordon, “Research Shows Rise in Cyberbulling During COVID-19 Pandemic,” Verywell Family, August 2, 2020.

2. Ditch the Label, ”21 Facts about Bullying That You Probably Never Knew,” September 9, 2020.

3. Sherri Gordon, “Cyberbullying Surpasses as Most Common Type of Harassment,” Verywell Family, June 11, 2020.


Meet the Author


Christine is an eResource curriculum specialist for Gale. She has a master’s degree in teaching and was a certified high school teacher in Michigan. With a passionate focus on classroom technology, she has trained over 8,500 educators on how to integrate digital resources into the curriculum, and has presented more than 50 conference sessions. Christine is the recipient of the 2018 MACUL Digital Leadership Award, the 2017 MAME Community Collaboration Award, and was a Spotlight Teacher for the Michigan Office of Adult Education in 2012 and 2013.   Follow Christine on Twitter @K12Christine or connect on LinkedIn.


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