Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tech to Combat Bullying

We've written a number of times about bullying - most recently about how influential students can help curtail bullying. But bullying continues to be a troubling issue, leaving kids and adults alike feeling hurt and bewildered. This is the age of the Internet, however, so never fear: Tech has come to the rescue yet again.

Parents may want to download KnowBullying, an app from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The app provides users with starters for tricky conversations, shares warning signs to watch for, issues reminders to check in with kids, and provides numerous helpful tips. There is a section for educators, too, which is helpful because identifies school staff awareness as a key factor in prevention of bullying.

Kids who aren’t sure what to do about teasing will be relieved to discover an app called StopIt. Many young people don’t report bullying to an adult because they are embarrassed or fear being labeled a tattletale. StopIt allows them to report bullying to their school anonymously, straight from a smartphone. Currently, more than 80 schools in the United States use StopIt, and the number is growing. (StopIt is available to corporations, too, in efforts to curb unethical or illegal behavior and financial and reputational risks.)

One of the most effective ways to stop bullying starts with kids themselves. Even if your child is not a victim, he likely witnesses, or has witnessed bullying at school, and if he’s like most kids, he’s not sure what to do about it.’s video Be More Than a Bystander can help him understand bullying so he’ll be empowered to act the next time he sees cruel behavior.

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