Virginia school districts must include policies and procedures that prohibit harassment in the district's codes of student conduct. School board policy standards on bullying and the use of electronic media for bullying purposes developed by the state board must be consistent with these policies. In this context, Washington's anti-bullying law includes a ban on cyberbullying.Cyberbullying is a form of harassment that uses electronic devices to initiate repeated negative behavior towards a less powerful person. This can include electronic insults, rejection, shame, the spread of rumors, gossip and online threats.
Schools can discipline students who engage in cyberbullying if it disrupts the orderly functioning of the school. Additional HIB training materials are available on the Safety Center website. Virginia anti-bullying laws require each school principal to notify the parents of any student involved in an alleged bullying incident about the status of any investigation within five school days of the report of bullying. In some cases, people become cyberbullies because they are part of a group and are imitating the behaviors of their own peer groups to adapt to them. There are several reasons behind school violence; being a victim of bullying could contribute to this.
Adults who interact with young people, such as teachers, parents, sports coaches, etc., are able to recognize these changes in behavior and refer young people to a school counselor.
Bullyingand cyberbullying threaten the physical and emotional safety of students and can affect their social and academic success in school. The Virginia Center for School and University Safety provides training materials to help teachers cultivate meaningful relationships with students while also creating a positive classroom climate. This website provides information to the general public about bullying, such as definitions of bullying and tools to prevent it in schools. Virginia anti-bullying laws mandate the Virginia Center for School and University Safety to train Virginia public school staff on school safety, on evidence-based anti-bullying tactics based on the definition of harassment in state law, and on the effective identification of students who may be at risk of violent behavior and who need special services or assistance. Procedures for monitoring student behavior at school and online can help schools identify risky behaviors and make interventions before they create safety problems. They are designed to help adults in schools and at home better understand what social networks are and how to use them safely. In addition, the anonymous nature of the Internet makes it easier for other people to cyberbully, especially if they themselves are marginalized from society and would not dare to harass anyone in person.
Districts and schools should adopt policies to help prevent bullying and cyberbullying, such as initiatives to promote the school climate and support digital citizenship and positive character development. If a student has experienced cyberbullying, there are several options available for them. One option would be to report it to the school and allow the school to facilitate the resolution in some way. In situations where the school is unable or unwilling to address the problem, such as when the cyberbully is not a student at that school, it may be a good idea to contact the police or consult with a counselor or member of the clergy.