She was asking for one of my female students to be removed from the classroom. About two minutes after that, I received a phone call, and it was the front desk security again, asking for another female student to be removed from the classroom. I know that these two young ladies are best friends with each other. Apparently – they were called down due to the suspicion of committing cyberbullying against a female student from another hour that I have during the day.
I was disappointed to hear the phrase “cyberbullying.” It is a teacher’s worst nightmare to be placed in a situation where we have to make a decision about how to address such an issue in our own classroom.
The real question is how do we really address the issue? Do we incorporate lessons surrounding it? Do we incorporate it as a classroom rule? Or do we just ignore it and address it separately to the accused students?
I found it troubling to see a student with a bright and wonderful personality come to class looking down and depressed. Bullying is nothing funny when it hurts the spirit of another human being – especially when it is a teenager.
Cyberbullying is a serious issue, because it is a form of bullying that adults cannot see happening in person. Therefore, if the situation is not handled correctly, then it could end in the worst possible outcomes such as students known to commit suicide after countless acts of cyberbullying. When I look at my own accused female students I know one of them does have a tendency to lash out at myself, but I would just take it as another day of teenaged hormones on the rise. However, the other accused female student is an interesting one, because she doesn’t appear to look like the “bullying” type.
I believed that’s why I was shocked about the entire situation. You can’t “spot” a bully based on looks; that would be another form of stereotyping. It’s always best to pay close attention to the actions of your students and step in when you notice something isn’t going right. You don’t have to cause a scene or a commotion if you don’t want to address the issue as a whole. But make sure to deal with the situation lightly and show support to the student who was bullied, because they will need the attention, love and support the most.
It takes more than one person to end the cycle of cyberbullying.