Horrendous bullying is alive and well at every level of education. I pulled my 12-year-old daughter out of the school system because she was experiencing threats and humiliation that the school was unwilling to act on. Even today at 20, there are areas in the neighbourhood that she feels uncomfortable in because of what occurred there. As an adult, I was harassed by a vampire want-to-be on Ning to the point where I had him removed from Ning.
Teachers can be proactive with this issue by
- acknowledging bullying exists
- co-creating enforceable rules of engagement
- using classroom tools:
- that allow teacher/student moderation of comments
- that have a real administration who can track down and remove cyber bullies.
Long ago, I worked with street kids in a storefront school and one of the first things we did was ask the kids to setup class rules of behaviour. I never had serious problems with these kids because they felt safe in my class and they monitored each other.