4.1.2 Proactive policies, plans and practices

A good school-wide approach against cyberbullying includes proactive school policies, plans, and procedures that are effectively implemented in practice and regularly evaluated. The following guidelines emphasize some relevant considerations from the viewpoint of different stakeholders.

Firstly, guidelines for raising awareness about cyberbullying and skill building are presented for all stakeholders. This is the strongest area of many anti-bullying programs, including typical school strategies.

Young people need:

  • A sense of ownership of their school’s anti-bullying policy.
  • Their opinions on the definition, procedures for reporting and investigating and intervention strategies for dealing with cyberbullying to be taken into consideration as relevant.
  • Encouragement to be responsible for their own online safely rather than relying on restrictive adult supervision.
  • Development of digital citizenship through peer support programmes, cyber-mentoring and counselling.
Parents need:

  • Attitude of respect and tolerance of others.
  • Ability to be explicit in their disapproval of cyberbullying.
  • Familiarity with policies and procedures in place in their children’s school.
  • Opportunities to participate in developing school policies and strategies.
Teachers need:

  • Clear, consistent and accurate information, support, and procedures for preventing, detecting, reporting, and responding to cyberbullying from the school management.
  • Training on how to act when cyberbullying happens.
  • Encouragement from school management to consistently implement and evaluate effective responses to cyberbullying situations.
Schools need:

  • An integrated and uniform approach for staff and all other members of the school community to preventing, detecting, reporting, and responding to cyberbullying.
  • Support and consistency from the school management on issues of cyberbullying.
  • On-going conversations with students about cyberbullying.
  • Staff members acting as role models and students supporting those who are victimised.