What is online bullying?
Online bullying is when an individual uses Internet-enabled devices to bully, hurt or embarrass someone online. While all young people can experience online bullying, some vulnerable communities such as rainbow youth experience higher rates(external link). According to Netsafe(external link), online bullying can take many forms like:
- name calling,
- repeated unwanted messages,
- spreading rumours or lies,
- fake accounts used to harass people,
- excluding people from social activities, and
- embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
Educators can use the below resources to help students understand the emotional impact of online bullying, provide guidance on where to go for help and support and implement strategies to prevent online bullying.
- Bullying-Free NZ(external link) is a central hub for New Zealand schools and provides guidance, resources and tools for schools to review, plan, and implement bullying prevention approaches.
- Online bullying information and advice for teachers and principals(external link) provides an overview of online bullying, its impact and how to prevent it among students.
- Empowerment Trust(external link) have resources, in-person interactive workshops and webinars with a specific focus on preventing online bullying.
- Google’s Be Internet Awesome(external link) is an online safety curriculum that helps children navigate their internet safety. The ‘It’s Cool to Be Kind’(external link) module help teachers highlight the importance of online kindness and discourage online bullying.
- Feel Brave books(external link) are little stories that help educators tackle big feelings including bullying and dealing with change. All books are available for schools through Lioncrest Education(external link).
- Hector’s World(external link): an engaging animated series supported by lesson plans and worksheets, offering 4–8-year-old children practical guidance on identifying bullying behaviour, why it is hurtful and strategies to deal with bullying online.
Animated videos of the Feel Brave books(external link) are available. In 'The Wolf's Colourful Coat', Wolfgang learns to be brave enough to tell someone big that he trusts and he learns that things aren't always as they seem. This teaches children the importance of talking to a trusted adult.
- 'The Wolf Is Not Invited: Wolfgang realises that there are other great friends out there just waiting to be met. This story helps children who are feeling left out and learn how to make their own fun.
- The Mighty Heros(external link): an animated series from eSafety that teaches children aged 4–8-years-old about trusting their feelings and asking for help when something doesn’t feel right.
- Interland(external link): is an educational online game by Google that helps children put online safety skills into practice. The game has 4 levels including ‘Kind Kingdom’ that teaches the importance of online kindness and discourages online bullying.