How to recognize, prevent and address cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is defined as the use of digital-communication tools to make others feel hurt, angry or frightened, often with cyberbullying taking place multiple times against the same victim. Examples include sending hurtful texts or instant messages, posting mean or embarrassing photos, videos or messages on social media and spreading false and hurtful rumors using the Internet or cell phone.
How can I tell if my child is being cyberbullied?
Parents seeking to determine if their child is being cyberbullied should consider if the hurtful actions are taking place repeatedly and intentionally? If so, this is likely cyberbullying and should be treated as such.
What should I do if my child is cyberbullied?
This is a difficult situation for children and parents. The best response is to help your child defuse the situation, protect himself/herself and make rational efforts to put a stop to the bullying. Parents are encouraged to:
- Reassure your child that he/she has your love and support.
- Help your child step away from the digital device and take a break.
- If the cyberbully can be identified, consider contacting the bully’s parents.
- Consider contacting your child’s school. If cyberbullying is taking place, it may also be happening offline.
- Empower your child with additional steps, such as blocking the cyberbully.
What should I do to prevent my child from acting as a bully toward others online? How can I encourage him/her to help prevent and stop bullying by others?
Share the following basic rules for online behavior with your child, including:
- Always communicate appropriately, including using the right language.
- Respect others, be courteous and disagree politely.
- Always think before you post, text or share about how what you are sharing will be received by others. Consider how your posts or messages will make others feel.
- Encourage your child to be an “upstander” and stand up for others who are being targeted by bullies.
- Encourage your child to report misbehavior of others on the Internet.
For more information, parents may visit www.commonsensemedia.org, an organization dedicated to helping children and teenagers thrive in a world of media and technology.
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The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District is partnering with EveryoneOn to increase home access to the Internet among families. EveryoneOn is a national non-profit organization created to eliminate the digital divide by making high-speed, low-cost Internet service accessible to all unconnected Americans.
Nationally, one in five Americans do not use the Internet, according to EveryoneOn officials, with the non-users disproportionately coming from low-income communities. These populations risk becoming increasingly isolated from our digital society because they lack access to the Internet.
During August, approximately 95 percent of Lee’s Summit R-7 families participated in a survey about Internet access in the home. Among families taking the survey, around 95 percent indicated they have wireless Internet access, and 2.6 percent stated they have smartphone or desktop access only. A total of 2.4 percent of families — approximately 406 students or 307 homes — have no Internet access. Of families with students qualifying for free or reduced lunches, around 84 percent have wireless access, 7 percent have smartphone or desktop access and 9 percent have no Internet access.
With the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s launch of Connect2Learn, which provides a Google Chromebook to each student, the partnership with EveryoneOn is especially timely. Working with partnerships with leading Internet service providers, EveryoneOn is able to offer free Internet service or service for $9.95 per month for individuals and families qualifying based on income. For example, families living in the Comcast area who qualify for free/reduced lunch are eligible to receive Internet service for $9.95 per month with no hardware or installation fees.
In addition, Internet service is available for all families regardless of income for $10 or $20 per month, not including the purchase of necessary hardware through T-Mobile.
Lee’s Summit R-7 staff members are encouraging those without Internet service to check out the low-cost plans available through EveryoneOn. If you know of families or individuals without Internet service, please also consider sharing this information with them.
To determine which reduced-price Internet offers are available in your area, visit EveryoneOn.org/lsr7 or text “connect” to 215-45. You may also call (855) EVRY1ON. You will be asked to provide your zip code and to answer questions related to family income levels, such as eligibility for the free/reduced school lunch program. For example, a family living within the 64086 or 64063 zip code with a child(ren) qualifying for free/reduced lunch program would qualify for several low-cost Internet options ranging from $9.95 to $20 per month.
In addition to working to provide Internet access, EveryoneOn provides reduced-price digital devices and free computer and Internet courses
We love our volunteers! If you are interested in helping out at school or attending field trips, please watch the following slide show – click here.
Does your child need supervision during the one-hour late start Wednesday mornings? Consider using the Summit Rise program. Click here for the registration form: Summit Rise
Check out all the great FAMILY resources on Common Sense Media!
Students are receiving Google Chromebooks to use at school and at home through Connect2Learn
Through the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s new Connect2Learn program, each student in the district will receive his/her own Google Chromebook this fall. Parents are receiving information from their child’s school this summer with more information about the program as well as Chromebook distribution dates.
When the Chromebooks are distributed, parents/guardians will be asked to sign the agreement and pay the mobile device insurance fee, which totals $30. Families may review the Connect2Learn handbook and agreement prior to enrollment by visiting http://connect2learn.lsr7.org/handbook/.
Through Connect2Learn, each student from kindergarten through high school will receive a Chromebook by Labor Day 2015.
This Chromebook rollout supports school district priorities and is an important step toward further developing engaged learners and meeting the district’s mission — We prepare each student for success in life. Additional access to digital devices increases equity among all students and helps support the way students learn and teachers teach. Within this innovative learning environment, students can also be more engaged in the learning experience.
Through Connect2Learn, students will have access to this powerful learning tool both at home and at school, regardless of family income or ability to purchase the digital devices.
As part of this one-to-one initiative, R-7 schools will continue to provide guidance and supervision to help students learn to appropriately and safely use technology tools. Instruction on digital citizenship and proper use of technology will continue to occur at each school and every grade level. In addition, families are encouraged to reinforce these lessons at home by using resources provided on the “Parent Info” page of the district’s Connect2Learn webpage at http://connect2learn.lsr7.org/.
This Connect2Learn website features a popular FAQs page that is updated as additional questions about the program are submitted. This FAQs web page also provides the opportunity for individuals to recommend new questions. Twitter followers are encouraged to keep up with information about the rollout at the hashtag #r7connect2learn.