K-12 students not inclined to turn to teachers about cyberbullying

March 19, 2014

A recent report about K-12 students’ thoughts on cyberbullying reveals that teachers are close to the bottom of the list of people students turn to for help when being harassed online. While parents and friends come first and second on the list, some students even say they would consider talking face to face with their bullies, or ignore the problem and hope it resolves itself, before asking teachers to get involved. The study by not-for-profit group MediaSmarts surveyed 5,436 students from Grades 4 to 11 in English and French in every province and territory. The study’s authors say school policies on cyberbullying are to blame. “Zero-tolerance policies are not only going to be unsuccessful, but they can be actively harmful because they discourage kids from reporting,” says MediaSmarts Director of Education Matthew Johnson. The research also shows that students tend to overestimate how common cyberbullying is, and that bullying declines when they are made aware of how few of their peers engage in this behaviour. Globe and Mail | Full Report