NSW Department of Education

How to respond to cyberbullying

For teachers
For parents
For students

Key message

Cyberbullying is a major concern for parents and teachers. The Department of Education's Anti-bullying site offers advice to parents and teachers on how identify and respond to cyberbullying to keep children and young people safe online.

When trying to keep children and young people safe online, prevention is always better than cure, but when cyberbullying does happen it is important that parents, teachers and children and young people know how to respond and where they can go to get help.

How to respond to cyber-bullying

The Department of Education’s Anti-bullying website refers to cyber-bullying as the act of bullying behaviour using the internet or digital devices. It might include:

  • sending abusive texts and emails
  • posting unkind messages or images
  • imitating others online
  • excluding others online
  • tagging people in pictures against their wishes
  • threatening another person to do something such as sending revealing images.

Teach children and young people to follow the following steps to reduce and prevent cyberbullying:

  1. don’t reply or respond - bullies thrive on the reactions they get from their victims.
  2. save the evidence - take screenshots of cyberbullying posts so that you can use them as evidence later
  3. tell a trusted adult - you do not need to deal with bullies by yourself, teachers and parents can help
  4. report cyberbullying - this could be to your school or in more serious cases to the police and the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.

What to do when a child reports cyber-bullying

Once a child reports cyber-bullying:

  • Listen carefully
  • Discuss a plan of action
  • Involve relevant school personnel
  • Implement a plan and follow up

Download the Anti-bullying- parents and carers online bullying fact sheet (PDF 223.73 KB) or go to the Anti-bullying website for more information.

Support and further help

For more serious cases, reporting directly to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner is recommended. Go to:

Professional learning for educators

Teaching positive, smart and safe online practices can help create an environment where cyber-bulling is reduced. There is a range of training and support to help educators deliver digital citizenship outcomes such as:

Lesson plans are available on The Office of the eSafety Commissioner’s website including:

Top tips

Additional resources

Curriculum and syllabus links

References

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