New Book for School Leaders!


Mobilizing Educators, Parents, Students and Others to
Combat Online Social Cruelty

  • Provides school leaders with insight into the problem of cyberbullying.
  • Provides guidance on the development of a comprehensive community-based approach to address cyberbullying concerns.

Cyberbullying is sending or posting harmful or cruel text or images using the Internet or other digital communication devices. While an insufficient amount of solid research has been conducted in this area, the stories that are emerging are profoundly disturbing - reports of depression, suicide, and even murder.

It is well-recognized that face-to-face bullying can lead to depression, anxiety, and anger, which can result in school failure, school avoidance, suicide, and school violence. With the click of a mouse or a send button, bullying can now be 24/7. It can reach the victim wherever and whenever he or she uses the Internet on any device. Damaging information or images can be sent worldwide in seconds and can be very hard to remove. The cyberbully may be someone known to the victim and associated with face-to-face bullying.  Or the cyberbully may be anonymous. Sometimes the cyberbully may be the victim of face-to-face bullying him or herself.

In some online communities, social cruelty appears to be the social norm and reporting online activities to adults is taboo. Young people may feel that they have to accept such online cruelty and that, if they report it, they may risk significant retaliation.

Cyberbully: Mobilizing Educators, Parents, Students and Others to Combat Online Social Crueltyprovides school leaders with information and resources to allow them to play a leadership role in mobilizing parents, students and others in their community to address concerns of cyberbullying.

The book covers the following:

    • Overview of cyberbullying.
    • Applying research insight about face-to-face bullying to cyberbullying issues.
    • Disinhibition - how the use of information and communication technologies can impact behavior.
    • Legal issues, including free speech and district negligence, as well as criminal laws and civil law remedies that may apply to cyberbullying situations. (This section is specific to US law, but guidance is provided on seeking information on the application of the laws of other countries.)
    • Comprehensive approach to prevent cyberbullying at school and off campus.
    • Strategies to intervene in cases of cyberbullying, including intervening in student-to-student cyberbullying, threat assessment, and intervening when the school or educator(s) are the target of the online cruelty.
    • A cyberbullying survey to conduct a needs assessment with students.
    • Model language for policies for Internet and mobile electronic devices (cell phones, PDAs) use.
    • An informational handout that can be sent home for parents and students. (The purchaser of the book will be granted a continuing license to reproduce and send this handout home to parents of the students attending his or her school. Additional distribution or distribution throughout the district, will require an additional low-cost licensing fee.)
    • Template to guide the inclusion of a program to address cyberbullying as a component of a District Safe and Drug Free Schools Plan for submission for funding through the state. (This section is specific to the U.S. only.)

Do you need this book? There are several ways to find out.

  • Read some of the News Reports and consider whether the kinds of activities reported in other communities might be going on in your community.
  • Conduct a Needs Assessment Survey with your students. The book recommends conducting a needs assessment survey as an important first step in developing a plan of action to address the concerns. You can download the survey and use it with your students.