Cyber bullying is any form of bullying, which takes place online, or through smartphones and tablets. It is rife on the internet and most young people will experience it or see it at some time. In a recent national bullying survey, 56% of young people said they have seen others be bullied online and 42% have felt unsafe online. Cyber bullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it can go viral very fast.

Cyber bullying has emerged as a new and pressing problem for schools and parents alike. The internet allows young people to participate in a world utterly removed from adult supervision: a world where bullying thrives and intimidation and harassment go unnoticed and unpunished by authority figures.

Teachers need to take action against bullying and cyber bullying when they see it. They should teach their classes about cyber bullying, focusing particularly on its prevalence and it’s effects. Teachers need to make it clear to their students that cyber bullying is intolerable and unacceptable. They should also monitor computer use in their classrooms and promptly investigate any cyber bullying incidents. It’s important, however, that teachers do this privately. Publicly protecting victims may do nothing but make the problem worse for the victim of cyberbullying. Teachers also need to involve parents of both cyberbullies and their victims. Since so much cyberbullying happens outside of the classroom, it’s crucial that teachers enlist the aid of authority figures outside of the school environment.

Although bullying and violent behavior has dropped off within schools in England over the past decade, figures released by the Department for Education; showed that more than 1 in 10 young people now say they have experienced cyberbullying inside and outside of school recently.

The charity Childline saw a large increase in the number of children contacting them with concerns about online bullying. It saw 4,507 cases of cyberbullying in 2012-13 up from 2,410 in 2011-12, with an 87% rise in contacts about online bullying, a 41% increase in contacts about self-harm and a 33% increase in young people feeling suicidal.

As technology develops further it means there are only more options for children to be open to cyberbullying, and it’s the responsibility of parents and schools to be vigilant and act accordingly.

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