4.2.3 Responding to Cyberbullying Incidents

Each case of suspected or alleged cyberbullying should receive an immediate response. If needed, a wider strategy should also be implemented.

If staff member suspects or is told about a possible cyberbullying incident, there are some steps they can take to immediately respond to the incident.

Cyberbullying over mobile phones:

  • Ask the student to show you the phone.
  • Record the content of the inappropriate message or image. Include names, phone numbers and other identifying information.
  • If the message is spoken, make a transcript.
  • Tell the student not to delete the communication for the moment.
  • Go with the student to the principal (or the person in charge of cyber safety if the school has one).
Cyberbullying on computers:

  • Ask the student to show you the inappropriate content on the computer screen. If the material is disturbing for the student, use other methods to locate it, such as checking browsing history.
  • Record the material, save it to a secure location. Copies should not be accessible to the public.
  • Print the problematic material out and save a hard copy in a safe place.
  • Inform the principal or the person responsible for cyber safety.
  • Talk to the student. Take the student’s statement, especially if there are concerns about child protection issues. When talking to the student, follow standard procedures for interviewing students.