Supporting children's development
Supporting children's development

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Supporting children's development

Cyberbullying

The growth in social networking sites and technologies such as mobile phones has led to a type of bullying known as ‘cyberbullying’. The use of the internet as a vehicle for bullying is now widely acknowledged and schools often include cyberbullying within their policies on bullying.

Activity 6

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes

Watch this YouTube video, Let’s fight it together, in which a young person describes what it is like to be subjected to cyberbullying.

Skip transcript

Transcript

[close up of Joe, a boy of about 14 in school uniform, sitting in what looks like a bedroom, talking to camera]

Joe
Um … hi, my name’s Joe. I don’t really have anyone to talk to so … I thought I’d tell my story like this. When it all started I just tried to laugh it off … but it just went on and on

[cut to]

Joe walking down a street, puts in earphones

[cut to]

School canteen: A group of four girls and boys are sitting at a table – Joe joins them and shares his earphones with one girl (Girl A). The mood is happy.

[cut to]

Joe walking to classroom with other pupils.

[cut to]

Classroom: Teacher asks question and Joe answers correctly. Girl A from the previous scene who is sitting behind him pulls a mocking face.

[cut to]

Pupils leaving the school at the end of the day. Joe exits with Girl A behind him. She appears to say something hurtful to him and walks away. Joe looks sad and thoughtful, then walks on.

[cut to]

Joe approaches a group of friends including Girl A. She ignores him. He walks off. They look and laugh. Another girl hands Girl A a mobile phone. She begins to text.

[cut to]

School bus. Joe gets a text message ‘YOU LITTLE KISSASS!’. He looks worried.

[cut to]

Joe arriving home. Another text message alert is heard.

[cut to]

Inside Joe’s house. He greets his mother and behind her back deletes the text message.

[cut to]

Another school day – Joe looks through a window and can see his friends including Girl A. They beckon him over and take a picture of him on a phone camera.

[cut to]

Joe getting the school bus with other pupils.

[cut to]

A hand dialling a number on a payphone.

[cut to]

Joe answers his phone.

[cut to]

Several of Joe’s friends including Girl A shouting at him down the phone.

[cut to]

Joe walks away from the school bus.

[cut to]

Joe in his bedroom doing homework. He receives an email/instant message that says ‘HEY FREAK’. He answers ‘hu’s dat’. He receives the responses ‘YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE’ and ‘LOSER!’.

Joe replies ‘is dat u Kim?’

He receives a reply, ‘TOMORROW YOU WILL FIND OUT. U GONNA GET KILLED. BETTER WATCH OUT TEACHERS PET‘.

Joe’s Mum knocks on the door. He quickly closes the screen. She looks concerned.

[cut to]

Another morning, Joe leaving for school. Another text alert. Joe reads the text, looking more and more concerned.

[cut to]

Joe sitting alone on school steps. A teacher sits next to him appearing to ask if he is OK. He nods his head. She gets up and leaves.

[cut to]

Montage of Joe walking down the street, in a school corridor, another street. Close ups of Joe getting more and more distressed.

[cut to]

Joe in his bedroom. He receives an email/instant message from an anonymous sender with a website link. He clicks it and it takes him to a web page called joeisaloser.co.uk. It shows a picture of Joe with a superimposed long tongue and a picture of the teacher from the classroom. We see hints that the website content is about Joe spending his time watching his teachers, playing computer games and that he has no friends. Joe stands up and goes and sits on his bed, head in hands.

[cut to]

Joe getting on the school bus, which is full of pupils laughing and pointing at him, chanting ‘loser’. He walks up the bus. One boy is not chanting and looks at Joe with a hint of empathy. Joe sits.

[cut to]

Joe’s bedroom. He switches on a video camera and speaks into it:

‘Well that’s it. I just can’t take it any more.’

[cut to]

Joe’s mum looking at the video footage on the camera. We hear Joe on the camera speaking: ‘I thought they were supposed to be my friends but they are all laughing at me. I’ve got to get them to take notice.’

[cut to]

Caption ‘Cyberbullying is bullying. It ruins lives.’

[cut to]

Classroom. The camera pans around the room but Joe is not there.

[cut to]

Joe’s mum walking up the path to the school.

[cut to]

Teacher noticing Joe’s mum.

[cut to]

An office, perhaps that of the head teacher. Joe’s mum and Joe sit opposite another person (perhaps the head teacher). Joe’s mum passes papers across the desk, which appear to be printouts of the emails/messages. The head teacher appears to ask Joe a question to which he nods.

[cut to]

Close up of one of Joe’s bullies in a classroom – she looks up and taps Girl A who is sitting next to her, on the hand. They look out of the window to see a police officer walking up the path to the school. Girl A looks worried.

[cut to]

Caption ‘Cyberbullying. Let’s fight it together.’

[cut to]

Joe leaving a classroom with the boy from the bus who didn’t chant. He looks happy.

[Fade]

[Fade up on logos for Department for Children, Schools and Families and Childnet International.]

End transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

As you watch, think about the following two questions and make a note of your responses:

1. What incident triggered the bullying of Joe?

2. What methods did Joe’s peers use to bully him?

You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Comment

  1. What seemed to trigger the bullying was Joe answering a question in class. Some of his friends/peers may have not understood the question and perhaps became jealous of him or the praise he received from the teacher.
  2. The bullies sent messages by text, phone and email. They also used a networking site to post unfavourable images.

Cyberbullying in its extreme has been linked to a number of suicides in young people. The UK is not exempt from this and the government has produced short films like the video above to generate awareness and understanding of the nature and outcomes of cyberbullying.

The Childline website [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] is a resource for young people who are worried about themselves or someone else who is being bullied. It is also a useful resource for parents/carers and other adults working with children and young people. You might find it useful to make a note of this link for future reference.

If you are interested in exploring the issue of children with SEN who are bullied, the Anti-Bullying Alliance run free online training that you can work through at your own pace. Each topic will take you about half an hour to complete and you can select the topics you are interested in.

Further details for the free online training for professionals can be found on the Anti-Bullying Alliance website. You will need to sign up to access the training, but this is free to do. You can register/sign in for the training via the sign-in link: https://antibullyingalliance.learnupon.com/ users/ sign_in.

CYM-SCD-E1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus