A school's best response to cyberbullying

Percy L. Abram, PhD describes the role of a school in preventing and dealing with cyberbullying
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A school's best response to cyberbullying

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We try to deal with the issues of cyber bullying not only with our students but with our parents as well. And there's a lot of education with that, because I think sometimes parents would like to believe that what happens outside of the physical walls of the school is not part of the purview of the school administration, when in fact it is. Cyber bullying is threatening behavior, intimidating behavior, behaviors that make students feel as if they're not part of a group. And we control that when they're at school. And we inform parents that it's our responsibility to control that, or at least to work with students when this is happening outside of the school, because once they return to my school, they are working with those same students again. So we like to tell students that being part of a community at Gateway School where I work carries with it some responsibilities from each individual. And those responsibilities are necessary online as well. So the kind of behaviors that we would insist upon in building a community at school, we insist upon their acting that way in a cyber community as well. No offensive language, no put downs, no aggressive talk amongst students. And physical aggression, so it's harder to have physical aggression online, but you can't post something negatively about somebody. You can't make an attack via email to somebody as well. While they know that they shouldn't do it, I think part of their response is I'll never get caught for this.

Percy L. Abram, PhD describes the role of a school in preventing and dealing with cyberbullying

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Percy L. Abram, PhD

Head of School

Percy Abram is the Head of Gateway School.  Gateway School is a Kindergarten – 8th grade independent school in Santa Cruz, CA.  Prior to joining Gateway School, Dr. Abram was the Upper Division Director at Brentwood School in Los Angeles.  An LA native, Dr. Abram received his B.A. (Economics) and M.A. (Education) degrees from UCLA, and his M.A. (Sociology) and Ph.D. (Education) from Stanford University.  Dr. Abram and his wife are the parents of a 10-year old daughter and 7-year old son, and despite running a school and being responsible for 260 students each day, he still finds parenting his most challenging job.

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