Cyber-Bullying - English Montreal School Board

Maureen Baron, M.A.
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accuracy or completeness of any information.
What is cyber-bullying?
“Cyber-bullying involves the use of information
and communication technologies such as email, cell phone and pager text messages,
instant messaging, defamatory personal
Web sites, and defamatory online personal
polling Web sites, to support deliberate,
repeated, and hostile behaviour by an
individual or group, that is intended to harm
(Bell Belsey, )
Who bullies whom?
 Student
 Students
 Student
 Students
 Students
 Employee
 Employer
school administrator
Cyber-bullying hurts
Electronic or Cyber-bullying includes the use of
email, cell phones, text messages, and internet
sites to threaten, harass, embarrass, socially
exclude, or damage reputations and friendships. PREVnet
How is cyber-bullying the same
as face to face (f2f) bullying?
 It involves
human relationships
 power
 control
 fear e.g. physical harm or social isolation
 victim feels worthless, weak or unwanted
 psychological pain
 humiliation
 Victims are afraid to disclose
How is cyber-bullying different
from face to face (f2f) bullying?
 Technology is the vehicle
 24 / 7
 There is no safe haven such as home or beside a
 Bullies can hide behind anonymity
 Bullying communications can reach a huge audience
at great speed
 The image is out there forever and keeps revictimizing the person
 Zero empathy for the victim
Vehicles for cyber-bullying
Social networking sites – Facebook
Web sites
Bash boards
Chat rooms
Virtual learning environments – school work sites
Cel phones
Camera phones
On line and interactive games
Bashing site – Rate My School
Internet polling – Doodle
Video hosting sites – YouTube
Game sites
 Click on Examples on the left of the site
Characteristics of Cyber-bullying
1. Unequal power – technology divide
2. Hurtful actions
3. Repetitive behaviours
4. Bully can remain anonymous
5. Bully can pretend to be another person
6. Bullying can happen anywhere, anytime, given that
cyber-space and cel phone access is everywhere all
of the time
7. Capacity for instant and limitless dissemination of
words and images
Kids Help Phone Cyber--bullying Study, April 2007
Why do they cyber-bully?
 To right wrongs or defend others – knight on white horse
Anger, revenge or frustration
Let’s see what happens
Impulsive response
Revenge of the Nerd may start out defending themselves but
they enjoy being the tough guy or gal
Mean girls do it to sustain their social standing
Social relationship problems
Gender based issues
15 minutes of fame
To be Jerry Springer and reveal or disclose: Outing
But sir, we were just joking!
But miss, we didn't mean it!
 Cyber-bullying
Deliberately hurtful
Power imbalance
Victim is socially
Perceived threat
Deliberate pain or hurt
 Joking
Target is in on the joke
Target also laughs
Everyone is on the
same level
No discrimination
No fear or threat
Accidental pain or hurt
Cyber-bullying roles
 Victim
 Perpetrator / Bully
 Lurkers / Bystanders
 Active accomplices
 Technology providers
 Unwitting participants / Forwarders
Direct cyber-bullying
 Direct attack to the victim via email, IM, blog
 Phishing email address or web site
 Text war leading to huge bills and denial of service
 Photoshop pictures sent or posted as real pics
 Use a stolen password to lock out the rightful owner
and then hijack the account for nasty purposes
 Create a poll or survey to vote on who is hot, ugly,
stupid, gay, sexy or a slut
 Create a bash board to advertise who is considered
to be sexy, ugly, stupid, gay or a slut
Direct cyber-bullying
 Gang up against a player in a game
 Send spam to overload an email account 
Post pictures without permission and ask others to
rate who is fat or ugly or sexy
Publicly ridicule someone on web sites, blogs, IM
Pretend to be a friend, solicit secrets and publicize
the secrets - trickery
Arrange to socially isolate or ignore someone
Create, share and use insulting code names for
people (bb=big butt)
Post happy slapping videos (videoing and sharing
acts of bullying and assault via camera phone )
Direct cyber-bullying
 Tease or taunt
 Impersonation (principal, student, Foundation)
 Insult or dissing
 Threaten the victim or a member of the
victim's family
 Outing
 Create and spread rumours (true or not)
 Post clips on YouTube out of context
Cyber-bullying by proxy
 The bully instigates others by creating indignation or
strong emotion, and then lets others do their dirty
 The bully sets up the victim and then prints /
publishes / shows the final explosion to peers,
parents, teacher or principal while claiming
 The “forwarding” accomplice
postings on YouTube, MySpace, and Photobucket.
Girls are photographing each other doing things in their
underwear at slumber parties and pictures are
appearing on porn sites. Parents are horrified to learn
that their daughter is now on a porn site indefinitely.
Technology can help win
against the bullies!
 CBC News story:
Students use the technology against the
The Power of Pink Bully
B’ware web site
Real life stories
 Sarah’s Story
Sharing personal pictures and videos
Personal webcams
Elementary School Cyberbullying Examples
 Actual sent emails:
 theres no school u loser,crazy wommen!
 hey u idiot shutup!stupid,loser!!!
 ur stupiddd!!
 paolina is cute
OUT WHO DID IT!!!!!!!!!
Secondary school, student to
student cyber-bullying examples
 Repeating what a person said, or commenting on
what a person wore or did in school, leading to fear of
being stalked
Use of cel phones, bash boards
Threats of violence to the student or the family
Blackmail for sexual or monetary favours
Impersonation of a person, teacher, school web site
or organization – phishing site
I know where you live!
Teens transmit pornographic pictures of themselves
or their underage peers, from their cell phones.
Student to administrator examples of
cyber- bullying
Bash boards and phishing sites
Denial of service on cel phones
Threats against family members
Use of social networking sites or Craig's List
to solicit people to help target the
 Facebook page to publish fake information,
rumours or stories
 Impersonation of the administrator to destroy
their reputation: Manitoba criminal charge
When do they cyber-bully
 Rarely from school computers
 Cel phone use from school
Cel phone use anytime anywhere
 Home computers
 Outside of usual school supervised areas
Hallways or stairwells in school
Tracking an email sender
 Cyber sleuthing tools for email from outside
the EMSB
IP information
Right-click on the header of the email and
choose the "Options". This will give you the IP
 If the message comes from within the EMSB,
forward it to David Verrillo and Maureen
Legs into the classroom so
report it
 A grade 5 player, X, was playing his friend in
Runescape. The friend, Y, wanted to trade game
items and was friendly. When X refused, Y became
nasty and started threatening and swearing. X did a
‘Print Screen’ of the abusive messages and blocked
Y to prevent any further on screen contact. X
forwarded Y`s name and copies of the messages to
the game site administrator who then barred Y from
the game.
Preserving the Bully's
On cels, keep / save all messages. Do not forward the messages to another cel as
information from the original message, such as the sender’s phone number, will be
lost. However, this may have been blocked.
On IM, some services allow the user to record all conversations or copy and paste,
save and print these. When reporting to the service provider, or even to the police,
copied and pasted conversations are less useful as evidence, as they can easily be
edited. Conversations recorded / archived are better evidence. Conversations can
also be printed out in hard copy or sections can be saved as a screen grab.
On social networking sites, video-hosting sites, or other websites, keep the site link,
print page or produce a screen grab of the page and save it. To copy what is on the
screen, press Control and Print Screen, and then paste this into a word-processing
In chat rooms, print the page or produce a screen grab of the page.
On email, print the message; forward the message on to the staff member
investigating the incident. Preserving the whole message, and not just the text, is
more useful, as this will contain ‘headers’ (information about where the message has
come from)
Excuses: or: Whose Fingers
Were on the Keyboard
 12 inch rule: wasn't me
 Someone hacked the account and pretended to be
me: wasn't me
Shared password therefore it wasn't me
Website, phishing or bash board created with series
of anonymous emails or from a public wi-fi Internet
connection: wasn't me
Lost my phone for a while or it was stolen and then
returned: wasn't me
My daughter and her friends were at the computer,
don't know which one typed or sent the message.
wasn't mine
Why didn't you tell
 Didn't think it would help
 Thought it would get worse
 fear of retaliation
 Was ashamed
 Afraid people would find out
 Called a rat
 Parents cut off cel or computer access
 Friends would get into trouble
 Lose my job or promotion
What Doesn't Work
 Telling the victim not to access the social
networking sites or their email
Social isolation from the peer group
Can't drop off the grid - always on generation
 Denying technology access to the bully
 Will always find a way to access
 Can utilize accomplices or proxy sites
 Victim blocking bully: bullying through proxies
or forwarders or in public cyberspace
Cyber-bullying + Canadian
 Under the Criminal Code of Canada, it is a crime to
communicate repeatedly with someone if your
communication causes them to fear for their own
safety (physical or psychological) or the safety of
others. Section 264.1 (1)(a)
 It is a crime to publish a "defamatory libel" - writing
something that is designed to insult a person or likely
to injure a person's reputation by exposing him or her
to hatred, contempt or ridicule.
 A cyber-bully is violating the Canadian Human Rights
Act, if he or she spreads hate or discrimination based
on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion,
age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family
status or disability.
Cyber-bullying + Canadian
 Only the Police can force ISPs to divulge
street address linked to IP address
 12 inch rule as proof
 Identity theft is fraud
 Defamation / Cyber-libel
Current Canadian Cases
 Brandon Manitoba teen criminally charged with
Personification after he set up a Facebook profile
impersonating a teacher including the teacher's
picture and biographical details.
 Edmonton Alberta junior high students expelled for
posting fake profiles in the names of 2 teachers.
 Montreal Quebec students set up a phishing school
site asking for donations to support school building
fund. They couldn't cash the cheques.
 Quebec teacher entrapped to verbally explode in the
classroom. Film of explosion was edited and posted
on YouTube. Teacher is on extended sick leave.
Current Canadian Cases
 Montreal Quebec student was physically
bullied and cyber-bullied on cel phone. Bully
threatened the student's mother who reported
to the Police. Police visited the bully's parents
at home.
 Montreal Quebec, Sec.1V girls tried to
disclose but administrators were out. They
called 911 and Police speedily arrived at
When a parent says:
I don't tell you how to run
your school, you don't tell me
how to run my house!
YES I CAN! …said the principal
 When there is a nexus, convergence, meeting or
intersection between the school and the behaviour
Disruption of school environment
Negatively impacts the learning environment
Negatively impacts the mental or physical well being of
Education Act Duty of Care in loco parentis
Eric M. Roher, LLP, Toronto, Ontario
Supreme Court of Canada
Case #1
 Robichaud v. Canada
 Institutions are responsible for providing safe
environments even if the harassment by a co-worker
happens outside of the institution.
 If the victim has to face the bully in the institution then
the institution is responsible for correcting the problem
 The institution has the authority to intervene even if the
harassment happens outside of the institution
 The school is an institution
 Therefore if the student cyber-bullies a student or
teacher from home, the school has the legal authority
to intervene.
Shariff (2005)
Supreme Court of Canada
Case #2
 Ross v. New Brunswick School District #15
 School board has a duty to maintain a positive school
environment for all persons served by it
Students knew that Ross distributed anti-Semitic
material outside of school.
The SCC ruled that the effects of Ross’ actions and
behaviours poisoned the school environment
Therefore the school must teach that social
responsibility does not end outside of or after school.
QEP: To socialize
 Shariff (2005)
Case #3: Newman et al. vs Halstead,
 Canadian defamation case
 Halstead, community education activist
 Group of teachers
 Email and web sites defamed teachers
 Halstead found guilty
 Plaintiffs awarded $626,000+
Stakeholder Concerns:
Shariff 2007, McGill University
Sch. Bd.
Learning &
Need private
Cater to
media &
No time
Quick fix
Want fair
for kids
Need + env to
Must please
Need teacher
Don’t trust
Worry about
kids’ reputn.
Need to vent
Have policies
Done duty
Parents too
Cynical with
want suspen.
teachers will
mistreat kids
Immature –
need 2nd
Ban & Filter
Ban and Filter
for students
Don’t want to
uproot kid
What educators can do
 Educate your students, teachers, and staff members
about cyber-bullying, its dangers, and what to do if
someone is cyber-bullied.
Be sure that your school’s anti-bullying rules and
policies include cyber-bullying.
Investigate reports of cyber-bullying immediately
even if the cyber-bullying occurs off-campus
Notify parents of victims and parents of known or
suspected cyber-bullies.
Closely monitor the behaviour of students at school
for possible bullying.
What educators can do
 Investigate to see if the victim(s) of cyber-bullying need support
from a professional.
 Cyber-bullying that occurs off-campus walks into the school with
your students and affects how they behave and relate to each
other, therefore the school must deal with this as though it
happened on campus
 Contact the police immediately if known or suspected cyberbullying involves acts such as:
 Threats of violence
 Extortion
 Obscene or harassing phone calls or text messages
 Harassment, stalking, or hate crimes
 Child pornography
What schools can do
 Make reporting cyber-bullying easy and safe
 Promote and teach the positive use of technology
 Implement prevention programs
Teach communication skills
 Teach healthy relationship skills
 Reflect the culture, needs and preferences of your school
 Involve the students in proactive programs
 Peer mediation
 Development of strategies and solutions
 Decide who within the school community is responsible for the
coordination and implementation of cyber-bullying prevention
and response strategies.
 Be proactive and not just reactive
What schools must do
 Put cyber-bullying prevention in the curriculum
 Educate everyone about the consequences and ethics of cyber
Address the content and not the technology
Enforce clearly and publicly stated consequences of cyberbullying up to and including the pressing of criminal charges
Make the cyber bully accountable
 Rethink the effectiveness of zero tolerance, suspension,
restitution, restoration of trust
Include cyber-bullying in the school's code of behaviour
Teach the students to:
 Never share passwords or log-in information except
with their teacher or a parent
 If harassed they should
tell a trusted adult
leave the harassment location
never respond to harassing messages
save the harassing messages for the ISP or school
report it to the police if necessary
Stop, block, save and tell
 Take a stand against bullying of all kinds
 Know and adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy
Heroes who help
 Scenarios to discuss
 What would you do to stop the bullying?
As the student
As a fellow student
As the student's teacher
As the parent
As the school administrator
E.M.S.B. Resources
 Information Technology Services
 Tracks the sender and receiver
 Student Services
 Project Harbour deals with the relationship and social
causes and helps re-establish trust
 Pedagogical Services
 IT, RECIT and Portal Consultants for classroom
programs to prevent cyber-bullying and support
positive online behaviour
 Legal Services
 Time to involve the Montreal Police, or RCMP
ults.cfm Lesson Plans
 The bully is in front of you
 The victim’s parents are in the office
screaming for consequences
 The teacher doesn’t want the bully back in
 The student body is watching to see what
 The victim is afraid