Cyberbullying and Digital/Internet Safety
(Information from OSPI and Washington State School Safety Center)
The Internet offers a wealth of resources and material for education. Accessed through a variety of electronic devices, it also allows for rich and diverse opportunities for 21st century communications. These devices are becoming ever more diverse and ubiquitous. They raise issues of digital / Internet safety and digital citizenship. Along with ensuring that our young people have the technological skills to effectively use digital devices, platforms, and resources for educational purposes, we also have the responsibility to teach them how to be safe and productive digital citizens of the 21st century. This responsibility has been mandated through the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act.
Within this context, Washington's anti-bullying law includes the prohibition of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is bullying using electronic devices to initiate repeated negative behavior toward a less-powerful person. Electronic name-calling, shunning and shaming are all forms of cyberbullying. So are spreading rumors, gossiping and making threats online. Schools are permitted to discipline students who engage in cyberbullying if it disrupts the orderly operation of school. Additional HIB training materials are available on the Safety Center web site.