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Dealing with cyber-bullying: stop, block, tell

Filed under: Features |

PASIG CITY, September 20, 2012—Stop, block, tell.  This is how kids can put an end to cyber-bullying before it goes completely haywire, according to a guidance counselor.

Michele Alignay, who has dealt with several cases of online bullying as a school guidance counselor, explained three initial steps to address bullying:

  • stop chatting or replying to the bully;
  • block the person from the networking site or medium where the exchanges take place; and
  • tell someone about the incident like parents, school authorities

 The role of the screen shot

“It has more impact because everything is public,” Alignay explained, saying cyber-bullying, which often involves school-age kids, should be addressed quickly and not taken lightly.

With verbal abuse channeled online, the means to fight back is also quite techie—the print screen command.

Alignay said a screen shot of the comment thread, for example on Facebook, will show clearly who said what to whom.

A screen shot should be captured immediately though, as users can delete comments they have made in real time.

It also serves as an unbiased record that will help parents and school authorities take necessary disciplinary action or interventions.

Defining bullying

Alignay, who said cases of cyber-bullying are more common among girls, also talked about the thin line that separates bullying, which has a victim and an aggressor and outright fighting where two or more people bash one other online.

The definition of bullying can be clouded when both parties involved overstep their boundaries and proceed to make a clear-cut case of cyber-bullying evolve into an all-out word war with no clear victim and perpetrator.

The home front remains an influential sphere for kids, where Alignay recommends they be taught about the idea of proper “netiquette” or internet etiquette to safeguard them from cyber-bullying. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]


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