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Desk of Herricks Superintendent Dr. John Bierwirth: May 29, 2009

Part II of Tips for Parents and Students on Cyber-bullying

What Parents Can Do

1. Learn everything you can about the Internet and what your kids are doing online. Talk to them about the places they go online and the activities that they are involved in. Be aware of what your kids are posting on websites, including their own personal home pages.

2. Encourage your kids to come to you if anybody says or does something online that makes them feel uncomfortable or threatened. Stay calm and keep the lines of communication and trust open. If you “freak out” your kids won’t turn to you for help when they need it.

3. Encourage kids to develop their own moral code so they will choose to behave ethically online.

4. Talk to your kids about responsible Internet use.

5. Teach them to never post or say anything on the Internet that they wouldn’t want the whole world - including you – to read.

6. Create an online agreement or con tract for computer use, with your kids’ input. Make sure your agreement contains clear rules about ethical online behavior. Research shows that in homes where parents have clear rules against certain kinds of activities, young people are much less likely to engage in them.

7. Take action if your child is being bullied online.

8. Watch out for signs that your child is being bullied online – a reluctance to use the computer or go to school may be an indication.

9. If the bully is a student at your child’s school, meet with school officials and ask for help in resolving the situation.