Cyberbullying: Prevalent and Urgent Issue for Children, Parents and the Community
Cyberbullying is the intentional and repeated mistreatment of others through the use of technology, such as computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.
On Sunday, Feb. 23, Roberta S. Clark, the Community Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the recipient of the 2013 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award, delivered a special presentation on cyberbullying.
Her message comes at a time when approximately 20% of young people report a problem with cyberbullying at some point in their lives, according to a 2010 study from the Cyberbullying Research Center.
The ADL website provides powerful statistics on cyberbullying that reveal just how prevalent and urgent the issue has become. In a study of 500,000 third to 12th grade students, 17% reported being bullied at least 2-3 times in the last month. In a survey of 655 teens from 13- to 18-years-old, approximately 1 in 10 reported themselves as the aggressor, having cyberbullied someone online or by text message.
Even more shocking, perhaps, is the rate of bystanders who do not intervene. In a study of classroom behavior, children and youth were present during 85% of bullying episodes, but stepped in just 10% of the time. There are, however, solutions to these problems. Statistics show that allies who speak out on behalf of someone else or take actions that are supportive of someone else are able to halt more than half of all bullying behaviors in less than ten seconds.
The ADL suggests being an Upstander instead of a bystander by taking a few simple steps in order to stop and prevent bullying whenever it arises. Whether or not you know the person who is the target of bullying, it is important to show compassion by asking if they are okay, going with them to get help, and making sure they know they are not alone. Another way to be an ally is to not participate. Choose the high road and let people know by your behavior that bullying is not right. And when confronted with a bullying situation, don’t be afraid to speak up. Tell aggressors to stop or inform a trusted adult if you need help dealing with the problem.
The ADL provides education and resources online for both children and adults.
To be an ally to those who experience bullying, visit http://www.adl.org/assets/pdf/education-outreach/Be-an-Ally-Six-Ways-online-version.pdf
For 10 easy ways to respond to bullying, visit
For facts and statistics on bullying, visit
And for all of the ADL’s resources and ways to help out, visit
-Chris Kelley, for the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance