Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Talk on Cyber Bullying by Prof. Sameer Hinduja

I attended a public lecture on Monday 15th May delivered by Prof. Sameer Hinduja of Florida Atlantic University, who is a world expert on Cyberbullying. It was hosted by the Anti Bullying Centre in DCU. Dr Hinduja runs the website Cyberbullying.org.. The lecture was really insightful and thought provoking. The trust of the lecture was helping people become better human beings so that, they do not want to be associated with bullying. He gave some really practical ideas that schools could use to bring about a change in the school culture.

Below are some notes that I made during the lecture.

Sanctions

Don’t increase formal sanctions for bullying. While sanctions are important do not increase them when a misdemeanour occurs. He stated that research has consistently indicated that these do not work.

Don’t have zero tolerance policies.

Don’t use public shaming.

Don’t use fear-based messaging, as this has been shown not to be effective.

Anonymity

Do talk about anonymous apps. Try to discourage the use of these. Although students can post information anonymously, these apps also hold IP addresses so people’s computer can be traced.

Communications

Do follow up school assemblies with a plan, send information home to parents and do role plays with students.

Do chose speakers wisely, new cyber gurus are appearing every day.

Don’t say ‘bullying causes suicide’ as this is generally not true. There are usually other factors involved.