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Not all cyberbullying should be treated equally, parents say

In today’s digital world, cyberbullying –using social media or electronic communication to harass or threaten another person—has become a growing problem for teens. But since, by its nature, cyberbullying often happens online, defining and punishing cyberbullying poses some difficulty for schools.

In our latest NPCH Report, we asked parents of teens age 13-17 for their input on what actions are definitely cyberbullying:

  • 63% said a social media campaign to elect a certain student for homecoming court as a mean joke is definitely cyberbullying.
  • 45% said sharing a photo altered to make a classmate look fatter is definitely cyberbullying.
  • 43% said posting online rumors that a student was caught cheating on a test is definitely cyberbullying.
  • 65% said posting online rumors that a student had sex at school is definitely cyberbullying.

Parents also expressed varying levels of support for school actions to punish cyberbullying:

Figure 1. Consequences for Cyberbullying. Parent views on how schools should respond
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Learn more about these results in this short video with NPCH Associate Director Sarah Clark, MPH:

What do you think?:
How should schools respond to cyberbullying? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter!