Thursday, March 8, 2012

Upstanders Plus Cyberbullying Tips

Today has been an emotional day for me. On the way to drop off the kids this morning to school, I received a voicemail from a parent in Nebraska who has been advocating for stronger anti-bullying measures in her child’s school and community. We talked for quite some time, and it was like talking to one of our fellow ABC directors or a soul sister. She spoke of her son who is currently a high school student and how she feared for his safety; she spoke of how close they were and her fear when he was suicidal at the thought of returning to his school. Tears flooded my eyes in empathy for her son and the heartbreak and determination I heard in her voice. Her passion and drive reminds me of me and I’m looking forward to working together with her in future endeavors.

Emotional and inspired by the phone conversation, I am working along when I get tagged in a local group I belong to. A parent had posted her frustration of a cyber-bullying closed group her child had been “added” to targeting a fellow student. Her child immediately told her about the group and she put in calls to the school, but there were no return calls. Another parent knew that I was a part of ABC and tagged me to draw my attention to the post. I asked the parent to call me immediately and she gave me access to the group in which the image they had photoshopped of a young boy made me nauseous. I immediately started taking screen shots and with her help drafted an email to the administration with attached images. I then followed up with a phone call and it is being investigated immediately.

I was at first going to create a status update on ABC of what to do in situations like this, but then recognizing my long-winded capability I decided to instead create a blog post.

I would urge ALL parents to have login information for your children if they are on Facebook or any other social media site. It is our duty as parents to ensure safety of our children everywhere, web or otherwise. Monitor your kids on social media!

Here are some tips if you are in a similar situation:

1. Take screen shots of images and members of the group by hitting Ctrl PrtScn (Control and Print Screen) simultaneously. Open up Paint and Paste the image, crop as needed and Save as a JPG. Continue to do this to get all pertinent information.

2. Once you have images saved, Report any Abuse by clicking the X by the post and selecting the Report Abuse option. In Facebook, they will give you options such as Violence, Targeting a Friend etc. You can also report the Group.

3. Call the school administration, go to the school with print outs and Follow Up with an Email with attached images.

4. Contact a local advocacy group or contact us at

5. Talk to your kids about cyberbullying and the importance of being an upstander.

I want to commend the child who immediately told his mom about this group and the mom for taking action with the school and ABC.

Together We Can!

1 comment:

  1. For Mac users, a screen shot can be taken several ways.

    1. Using "Grab" (in your utilities folder in Launchpad or your Applications folder if you're using Snow Leopard or older): open Grab, choose Capture > Screen, click outside the window when the dialog opens.

    2. Using "Preview" (in your Applications folder): open Preview, choose File > Take Screen Shot -- you can choose the entire screen, part of the screen, or a single window). You have a few seconds to move your cursor/pointer to where you want it before the pic is snapped.

    3. Using "TextEdit" (taking the pic and placing it in a text edit doc, a bit too complex for a comment - search "help" for the instructions)

    Not all of us are PCs. :-)