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Schools Join Into The TikTok Craze with Clubs

TikTok, a social media app where users post short funny videos, is enjoying a surge in popularity among teenagers around the world and has been downloaded 1.4 billion times, according to SensorTower. Now high schools are joining the TikTok trend with clubs to dance, sing and perform skits for the app — essentially drama clubs for the digital age, but with the potential to reach huge audiences. And unlike other social media networks, TikTok is winning over some educators, like Michael Callahan, a teacher and drama club advisor at West Orange High School in New Jersey, who had never heard of TikTok before his students told him about it. He loves how the app brings students from different friend groups together. “You see a lot more teamwork and camaraderie,” he said, “and less — I don’t want to say bullying — but focus on individuals.”

Can Social And Emotional Learning Help Curb Cyberbullying?

Integrating a social-emotional learning in school curricula could help to encourage digital civility and curb cyberbullying, according to Mandy Manning, who was National Teacher of the Year in 2018. Now back in the classroom, Manning says she is focused in part on helping students make human connections and learn to have positive, healthy relationships -- online and in real life.

Quick List of Digital Resources for Bullying Prevention and Cybersecurity

Looking for parent, teacher or school resources on bullying prevention and cybersecurity? Take a look at this list from Tech & Learning online. The resources includes links on how to obtain posters, tip sheets and brochures about bullying for your school, information on Cyber Security Careers, and even a short guide to cryptology that helps students understand the importance of a strong password.

What Does It Mean To Be a Digital Citizen?

What does it mean to be a good online citizen? Marialice Curran, founder of the Digital Citizenship Institute, proposes that it is less about a list of do’s and don’ts, and more about treating one another with humanity, compassion and respect. She believes the term “digital citizenship” is not the best way to get people’s attention. For her, digital citizenship is human connections. It is bringing back the humanity into interactions online and not using the online world to harass, bully and intimidate others.


Hat Not Hate

If you’ve got a crafty side and want to speak out against bullying, there is a way to contribute to the cause and show your “anti-cyberbullying” outlook. Lion Brand Yarns has partnered with BeStrong, a global antibullying organization, to rally consumers to knit or crochet blue hats and share them on social media with #HatNotHate to build awareness and support the efforts to stop bullying. Why blue hats? Blue represents awareness and solidarity, and is the color to wear in support of bullying prevention.

Addressing Cyberbullying – What Works and What Doesn’t

According to Today, one-off programs such as guest speakers and school assemblies are ineffective at addressing the complexities of bullying. Schools may think they have checked off their responsibility to combat bullying by holding these kinds of programs, but they rarely have much effect.  Some schools are making progress through research-backed programs that adopt anti-bullying classes and establish a framework for what to do when bullying situations arise. This includes setting goals and procedures that are properly communicated to the staff, students, parents and the community. Experts agree that any anti-bullying program is only as strong as a school's commitment to it, and to get results, students, teachers and administrators have to put in the time.

What is Sadfishing?

School leaders in the United Kingdom are warning about a new social media trend -- sadfishing -- in which students are seeking to garner sympathy online by often exaggerating and “oversharing” details of their emotional health. Instead of getting sympathy, the behavior can have negative effects on students, they say, including cyberbullying.

Information Sharing on Cyberbullying Prevention and School Safety

Legislation introduced by US lawmakers proposes to establish a national database that state and local officials could use to discover best practices for school safety and cyberbullying prevention. Called the School Safety Clearinghouse Act, the bill includes federal funding and would provide educators access to recommendations from architects, engineers, first responders, mental health advocates, parents and building security experts. The clearinghouse intends to help educators make informed decisions about the safety of their students.

A Cyberbullying Workbook for Teens

The Bullying Workbook for Teens (for kids 13 and up) is a recent title from the Instant Help Solutions series. The booklet includes exercises to help teens learn to understand and manage the difficult emotions created when you’re the victim of bullying or cyberbullying. Using cognitive behavioral techniques, the material helps teens identify and manage their emotions, from anxiety to anger to depression, and provides guidance to getting help when a bullying situation is getting out of control.

Rude vs. Bullying – What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between rude behavior and bullying? Signe Whitson, a therapist and author of several booklets on bullying, says it is important to draw a distinction. If we improperly classify rudeness and mean behavior as bullying — whether simply in conversation or to bring attention to short-term discomfort — we all run the risk of becoming desensitized to the word and this actual life-and-death issue among young people will lose its urgency. In her definition, being mean involves  “purposefully saying or doing something to hurt someone once (or maybe twice).” Bullying, on the other hand, is “intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power.... Kids who bully say or do something intentionally hurtful to others and they keep doing it, with no sense of regret or remorse — even when targets of bullying show or express their hurt or tell the aggressors to stop.”