How to Handle Cyberbullying

Question: Recently, my daughter in middle school has been getting bullied online. The people who are bullying her are classmates. They say she only gets good grades because she is the teacher’s pet. What can she do? What can I do?

Answer: You definitely need to be aggressive in fighting these bullies. You need to report what is happening to the social media site or sites where the messages are coming from. After receiving a report, most social media sites will block their email address with your email provider and block their number from being able to send your child text messages.

You should also contact the appropriate person at your child’s school. The school needs to be aware that cyberbullying is occurring and deal appropriately with the cyberbullies. You should also check the laws in your state against cyber harassment. There is a lot of information out there to help you know what to do, and the people mentioned above will provide you lots of information to get started.

Make sure that your daughter knows to never, never respond to a message, text or post that contains bullying remarks. Doing so usually only makes the situation worse and is providing the reaction cyberbullies want. However, you might want to reply once telling the sender that this has been reported and make sure that you do the reporting. You also can change your child’s email address.

Make sure that you keep a record of all the bullying messages. If you are unable to print out a message, you should take a screen shot. You will definitely need all this information to back up your words if you need to pursue a criminal or civil lawsuit.

Remember that often the child being cyberbullied is also being bullied in school. You need to make sure that your child knows how much you love and support her and are willing to help her.