Parenting Teens: Cyberbullying & School Climate

I have some very important information about cyber-bullying today. Even though this research was done in Canada it may very well have results that we in the U.S. should pay attention to. On Nov. 1, 2012 Gerald White of the Department of Education gave a presentation called ‘School, family, and community factors related to cyber victimization: Findings from research in Newfoundland and Labrador schools.”

For his study, Mr. White  collected data from 6,000 students in grades from kindergarten to grade 12.White found that a large percentage of this sample of kids (25%) reported experiencing cyber-bullying at some point. He also reported that the greatest amount of bullying occurred among the 9th to 12th graders.  I am not surprised that he found that students who were victims of cyber-bullying were also victims of other types of bullying. White also suggested that cyber-bullying was more common in schools with stressful climates characterized by a lack of respect for teachers.

I find this possible connection between school climate and amount of cyber-bullying to be very interesting. I think we should all be taking a look at what is going on in our teens’ schools to see if there may in fact be a connection between the emotional atmosphere of the school and how the kids treat each other. This is an excellent area for more thought and research.