4.1.3 Collaborative school-family-community partnerships

Schools and families are among the most important risk factors as well as protective factors in cyberbullying. To deal with cyberbullying effectively, links between communities need to be established and resources in local communities should be utilized. The following guidelines discuss the needs of all stakeholders from the partnership building perspective.

Young people need:

  • Empowerment to report cyberbullying to school staff, parents or other trusted adults.
  • Awareness of resources in local communities, including agencies and organisations where they can find information, advice and guidance on internet safety and cyberbullying.
  • Encouragement to seek counselling if affected by cyberbullying.
  • Awareness that the sooner unacceptable behaviour is addressed the sooner cyberbullying will stop.
Parents need:

  • Encouragement to take action when they suspect their child is being cyberbullied or is bullying someone else.
  • Awareness that children can both be cyberbullied and bully others and that cyberbullying might also be linked to ‘traditional’ bullying.
  • Encouragement to familiarize themselves with their children’s school’s policies and procedures for cyberbullying.
  • Communication skills to stress to their children there is no shame in being bullied and that they should not hesitate to seek help from parents, teachers, youth leaders or others.
  • The ability not to over-react to cyberbullying or deny their children online and phone access if they are being targeted, but instead cooperating with their children to find possible ways of dealing with cyber-attacks.
Teachers need:

  • Active collaboration with parents to establish strategies for dealing with cyberbullying.
  • Contact with parents when appropriate, and increased parental and community awareness about cyberbullying.
Schools need:

  • Active participation of all members of the school community, teachers, parents and students in order to combat cyberbullying.
  • Awareness of all stakeholders that cyberbullying is a shared responsibility.
  • In cyberbullying situations, all parties involved need to contact each other and work together.