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Cyberbullying- does your co-op have a policy?


Shellydon
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Agreed there should be no policy so much as just one on one problem solving. But our co op had parents on site and involved the entire time as a family, so it wasn't like the kids were left to the wolves socially.

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I used to feel that way - that things outside shouldn't be involved in the school/co-op situation. But let me pose this... if one student harasses another online relentlessly, using foul language, perhaps even hacking into their personal accounts, perhaps posting sexual content or violent threats, then should the school/co-op stand behind that student "equally" with the other student? Presumably this is creating an unsafe environment to be around the bully, even if the bully technically does nothing but sit in class across from their victims.

 

Honestly, if it gets to a certain level, I think you want to have the ability to suspend the bully from the group.

 

I'm not part of a co-op that's large enough to have need of such a policy though.

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That would be unheard of around here. But a child harassing another can be dismissed from co op - we had a policy that any family can lose their spot if the co op's coordinator deemed it necessary, for pretty much any reason.

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... if one student harasses another online relentlessly, using foul language, perhaps even hacking into their personal accounts, perhaps posting sexual content or violent threats, then should the school/co-op stand behind that student "equally" with the other student? Presumably this is creating an unsafe environment to be around the bully, even if the bully technically does nothing but sit in class across from their victims.

 

 

I  don't think the co-op/school should stand in it at all.

 

Sitting across from someone in class is not unsafe, assuming they are just sitting.  If they are doing more than that, then there IS something going on in class, and then you are in the arena of dealing with something that is going on in class.

 

It's up to the parents to work out stuff between their kids.  If parents are going to allow their children to have social media, then they have to take on the responsibility of protecting their children in that space, and not want people in schools/co-op to do it for them.

 

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I used to feel that way - that things outside shouldn't be involved in the school/co-op situation. But let me pose this... if one student harasses another online relentlessly, using foul language, perhaps even hacking into their personal accounts, perhaps posting sexual content or violent threats, then should the school/co-op stand behind that student "equally" with the other student? Presumably this is creating an unsafe environment to be around the bully, even if the bully technically does nothing but sit in class across from their victims.

 

Honestly, if it gets to a certain level, I think you want to have the ability to suspend the bully from the group.

 

I'm not part of a co-op that's large enough to have need of such a policy though.

 

 

The way our co-op deals with this is two-fold:

 

1st -- Our students sign code of conduct, and we treat postings on social media as an extension of that code.  We're a smallish tight-knit group so it's usually easy to know what's going on.  We don't search kids' Facebook pages or anything like that.  

 

2nd --  If cyberbullying takes place during our classes or official events, then we  treat it as in person real time bullying and take appropriate action.  If it occurs off campus then we try to help the parents come together to work it out.  

 

After lots of discussion and real life events, we've found that this is what works best for our group.  Best wishes as you find what works best. 

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I  don't think the co-op/school should stand in it at all.

 

Sitting across from someone in class is not unsafe, assuming they are just sitting.  If they are doing more than that, then there IS something going on in class, and then you are in the arena of dealing with something that is going on in class.

 

It's up to the parents to work out stuff between their kids.  If parents are going to allow their children to have social media, then they have to take on the responsibility of protecting their children in that space, and not want people in schools/co-op to do it for them.

 

 

I would not consider that a safe environment. It goes beyond physical safety. If you know that anything you say or do in that classroom is going to be torn apart and ridiculed later that day because someone else you are stuck in a room with wants to make your life h3ll. 

 

That does not lend itself to an environment where you feel safe to ask questions or contribute in group discussions etc. We're not talking about adults here. It is different for children. 

 

Cyberbullying is just an extension of regular bullying. And that should be recognised as an impacting factor in the group dynamic. Policy or not, I would expect a co-op to help in whatever way they can. And if the parents of the bullying child cannot get it under control, then the bullying child is the one who should have to drop the class. But too often it falls on the bullied child to make the accommodations in order to avoid the bully. That's not right.

 

eta: correction to spelling

Edited by jewellsmommy
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I  don't think the co-op/school should stand in it at all.

 

Sitting across from someone in class is not unsafe, assuming they are just sitting.  If they are doing more than that, then there IS something going on in class, and then you are in the arena of dealing with something that is going on in class.

 

It's up to the parents to work out stuff between their kids.  If parents are going to allow their children to have social media, then they have to take on the responsibility of protecting their children in that space, and not want people in schools/co-op to do it for them.

 

We no longer attend any co ops or enrichment group, but none of our past ones had policies on this, that I can recall.

 

I did want to address something: a child does NOT have to have any social media accounts to be cyber bullied. A jerk can make fake accounts posing as my child, or for the purpose of spreading rumors or lies. How would a parent protect their child in that space if their child isn't even IN that space?

 

As far as I can tell, all public schools around here have policies on cyber bullying. Doesn't seem to stop it completely... jerks will always find a way to be jerks. I wouldn't be opposed to a coop having a policy against it. If my child was being harassed on social media by a jerk at coop, I would hope there was an option to remove the jerk from the group, rather than us having to leave to avoid them.

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I  don't think the co-op/school should stand in it at all.

 

Sitting across from someone in class is not unsafe, assuming they are just sitting.  If they are doing more than that, then there IS something going on in class, and then you are in the arena of dealing with something that is going on in class.

 

It's up to the parents to work out stuff between their kids.  If parents are going to allow their children to have social media, then they have to take on the responsibility of protecting their children in that space, and not want people in schools/co-op to do it for them.

 

 

I think it is victimizing to have to sit in a room with someone who has repeatedly threatened to kill, rape, or otherwise harm you even if they do nothing during that class. Or someone that you know posted altered images of you in compromising positions or who pretended to be you in order to sext or harass your classmates. That's why most schools now have policies about it. I think it's potentially enabling the bully to ask parents to deal with it. Also seconding that a kid doesn't have to have social media to be victimized by cyberbullying.

 

This is not to say that isn't easy for schools and co-ops to overreach as well. But it's an issue that strongly affects the group dynamic when one person is allowed by their parents to bully others and then is given a free pass within the group because it happened online. I think any large co-op these days needs to have a policy giving them some level of authority to ask the students to leave if one student is being abusive to another one.

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I think it is victimizing to have to sit in a room with someone who has repeatedly threatened to kill, rape, or otherwise harm you even if they do nothing during that class. Or someone that you know posted altered images of you in compromising positions or who pretended to be you in order to sext or harass your classmates. That's why most schools now have policies about it. I think it's potentially enabling the bully to ask parents to deal with it. Also seconding that a kid doesn't have to have social media to be victimized by cyberbullying.

 

This is not to say that isn't easy for schools and co-ops to overreach as well. But it's an issue that strongly affects the group dynamic when one person is allowed by their parents to bully others and then is given a free pass within the group because it happened online. I think any large co-op these days needs to have a policy giving them some level of authority to ask the students to leave if one student is being abusive to another one.

 

Thank you.  I agree with this.

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It seems like general harassment or bullying policy would cover everything mentioned.  It shouldn't be too hard to confront the offender and have them removed from the co-op if they don't stop harassing a classmate.  With cyber bullying at least you have an electronic paper trail.  I've been in a co-op through all of my kids' teen years and this hasn't come up.  I can't even imagine anyone having an argument to defend the bully or doing anything other than slinking away in shame.

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