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13 Jun 2018

#StandUpToBullying Day and the Evolution of Cyberbullying

Powered by the Diana Award, this year’s Stand Up To Bullying Day is looking to bring the nation together to take a stand against all forms of bullying, whether in school, the workplace or elsewhere. The aim is to bring schools, organisations and individuals together to raise awareness of what bullying is, how it occurs, and more importantly what to do about it.

In 2017, the campaign reached over three million people, as it educated on the long term effects of bullying and creating an understanding of how to tackle the growing issue. The anti-bullying policies supported by Stand Up To Bullying Day that can be used both in schools and organisations, aim to further help individuals understand their rights and what steps should be taken to combat bullying.

The Evolution of Cyberbullying in the Classroom

Delving deeper into the effects of cyberbullying, Smoothwall have been speaking to teachers, pupils and parents to understand the rapid evolution of cyberbullying, including the disparity in the perception of the problem from children to adults.

Smoothwall’s insights show that 55% of children have experienced online bullying or abuse, yet surprisingly, only 19% of parents believe their child has actually faced cyberbullying. When suffering from online abuse, children have so far most often described feeling upset, angry, anxious and insecure. Exploring the points where this problem can be combated, the research signals there is some overconfidence from parents.

When it comes to the classroom, the findings uncover that almost all teachers rely on children to alert them to cyberbullying issues. However, only 5% of pupils say they would confide in a teacher if they were being cyberbullied.

Previous research from Smoothwall, last year, found that cyberbullying was the biggest concern for teachers (66%). Fast-forward to the present day and these concerns are still very prevalent, with teachers further hampered by not having the right tools or support when it comes to tackling the issue. Over two thirds (67%) of teachers admit they need more support to deal with cyberbullying concerns.

As Smoothwall’s research has highlighted, whilst over half of children have admitted to experiencing cyberbullying, less than one fifth of parents believe their child has fallen victim. Parents and teachers both need better awareness of the issues and tools to help manage the problem. Only together can we eradicate instances of cyberbullying and ensure the internet is a safe place for children. For more practical tips and advice, visit the Stand Up To Bullying website for more information.

Are you taking part in #StandUpToBullying this year? Find out how to take part here.

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