|Jun 27, 2012|
Majority of youths worry over cyberbullying
Bullying over social media sites and elsewhere online is a top concern of children - not only in the United States, but across the globe, according to a recent study by Microsoft. Based on a survey of more than 7,600 youths in over 25 countries in January and February in 2012, the study found that 54 percent of children are concerned about cyberbullying, while 40 percent have been bullied online at some point. Surprisingly, 24 percent of responding children admitted to being the aggressor in online bullying as well.
While 40 percent of children admitted to being bullied, according to the study only five percent said that their parents have gotten involved at their school to encourage anti-bullying solutions, and only 29 percent told Microsoft that their parents have discussed bullying with them. Additionally, only 17 percent of parents have laid down ground rules regarding inappropriate online behavior.
"Kids need to know that they can turn to a trusted adult, such as a parent, caregiver or teacher, who will talk to them about all kinds of online safety concerns," said Jacqueline Beauchere, director of trustworthy computing for Microsoft.
In response to this data, Microsoft released an online quiz covering the facts about bullying, and a toolkit to help parents educate their children on proper online behavior. While bullying has been approached by schools in an effort to curb violence and discriminatory activities among children, most instances of cyberbullying occur when a youth is at home, and helping parents approach the subject with their children can be a major step toward lowering bullying statistics.
Teaching children to act appropriately both online and in the classroom is a major part of preventing bullying in every form, but schools can also take extra efforts to put a stop to these types of behavior and make schools a safer place for learning. Tools such as uTip, the Bully Buster, provide students with an anonymous and encouraging method to report a bully, both in the school and on the internet. Students use uTip to send a text message to school officials that can then be acted upon in a timely manner, removing the youth's fear of reprisal for reporting the activity and helping schools better understand the scope of bullying among their student body.