7.4 The No Blame Approach and cyberbullying

As pointed out in chapter three, in a cyberbullying case it might be difficult to identify the bullies unless the authorities are contacted to find out the IP address. Also, the provider can be contacted to take down the website. But even in a situation where it is not clear who is the wrongdoer, in the beginning, the No Blame Approach can be applied. A cyberbullying attack can harm the affected student much more since it is a 24/7 harassment visible for anybody in the net. In this situation, it is extremely important for the affected student to receive help and support by peers and classmates to avoid a complete withdrawal of the affected student. The support group needs to be sensitized for the devastating effects cyberbullying has on the affected student, can agree to delete the film etc., openly demonstrate solidarity and empathy. It can be agreed to conduct an awareness-raising workshop with the whole class or take other measures to prevent a future case.

Sometimes there might be a suspicion who is responsible for the act. in this case, the potential bully should be invited into the group. One possibility is to set a deadline for deleting the offending messages/website (the same day). If the bully is known he/she will also be invited to join the support group. Deleting the message/film/website etc. is mandatory.

If the cyberbullying has caused severe psychological and personal damages further steps need to be taken to stabilize the student (e.g. counseling, therapy).