As a student of ADR, I am constantly looking for the next opportunity. How else can we bring the message to the people? Every week, when I sit down to write this blog, I recall things that occurred throughout the week, any current events to conjure up ideas. In the spirit of cyberweek I thought it would be appropriate to discuss my thoughts on cyberbullying, and ADR's opportunity to help such a travesty.
As I look back at my childhood, I can't really remember if I was ever bullied (which probably means I wasn't). Sure, I was made fun of. Any boy with a "man" at the end of there last name was e
asily switch to "woman." Other than that, I held my own with a little help of wrestling and football practice. Unfortunately, there were others that were bullied at my school. To make matters worse, I don't think the teachers knew much about some of these problems. Luckily, I grew up when phones were still on the wall, and internet was just becoming a popular thing. Today, kids that a bullied have less of a chance to escape the harassment when they leave school. Now, kids have to face text messages, facebook, email, and all the other things I don't even know about. According to ISafe.com, nearly half all kids polled (42%) have been bullied over the internet. We could debate a child's need for each of these things, but lets face it, online communication is a part of everyone's life.Even kids that do no have these accounts can still be targeted for harassment.
So what can ADR do to help stop this? or at the very least, what can we do to help the kids that have been bullied. Since this is Cyberweek, I imagine ODR can offer a lot to these kids. Maybe this is already in place somewhere, but here are few aspects of a program that can help.
-Students that feel they are being bullied are allowed to communicate with their schools counselor through email, phone, or f2f at school. The Counselor will work much like a ombudsman, providing the student with the correct resources to stop the problem. From there, the counselor can inform the teachers of such problems so they can keep an eye out for it. The counselor and the student can also decide on a coarse of action, whether to confront the other student. While teachers may not be able to monitor harrasment that occurs after school, they will certainly be able to help after hours. I understand this is a rather simple view of this problem, I do feel ODR can help this problem, be it a platform for discovery or a way of resolution.
What do you think? What else can we do to help these kids out?
For more information on Cyberbullying visit isafe.org