Introduction and Essential Information
Middle school students live to talk, network, and connect with each other. They are at a time
in their lives when their peer group is of the utmost importance. They have been quick to
embrace the use of cell phones, instant messaging, chatting, blogging, social networking sites
(like MySpace) and e-mail to extend and enhance their social lives. But, just as the talk in
the school cafeteria can become ugly, these technology tools can be used against them.
When kids want to pick on, gossip about, or tease each other they can easily do so using any
means of communication available to them.
Cyberbullying involves the use of technology to intimidate or harass others. It is in some
ways more dangerous than other forms of bullying. Cyberbullying takes place away from the
eyes and ears of adults. It takes bullying into the victim’s home. What might have been an
embarrassing moment in the hallway at school can become broadcast and repeated to a much
larger audience. A cyberbully can remain anonymous. A victim can come to believe no
place is safe and everyone knows about his/her humiliation.
There are ways to help kids avoid, respond to, and defend against cyberbullying. Also, by
teaching students to be responsible, considerate users, we can help them avoid inadvertently
offending others when they communicate using technology.
Have questions? Need more information?
Hanshew Middle School Librarian