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Cyberbullying: The Role Teachers Play

By Tim Woda on May 29, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Parents and teachers are forced to long for those days when bullying mostly ended up with school authorities suspending the bully and calling in parents of both parties. Schools do boast of counseling sessions and preventive measures to stop bullying but the offense has taken a new form which is making it more and more difficult for both educators and parents to control. As the only exercise for more and more teens is flexing their fingers on the keyboard of their computer or phone, their cyberbullying, at some point or the other, does step into their virtual lives. The main problem is that traditional bullying was more visible than cyberbullying. It happened mostly on school premises and even if it didn’t, there was always some proof of harassment or some kind of supervision that could put a stop to the act. In its most dangerous form known as cyberbullying, the mere detection of the problem is very difficult. Prevention and long-term effects are even more unmanageable.   

Justin Patchin, an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Co-Director of Cyberbullying Research Center, spoke in an interview about how cyberbullying has teachers baffled as to what role they can play in stopping it. It has managed to give teachers more to worry about than just the falling grades of their students. Recognizing it as more or less new phenomena, Patchin encourages school authorities to avoid keeping cyberbullying at the end of their priority list.

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