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Cyberbullying of Girls on the Rise

Cyberbullying of Girls on the Rise

How does your school handle bullying & harassment, and do you have clear policies in place?

Cyberbullying of girls is on the rise, according to the Associated Press News. But does this really surprise you? In surveys of students between the ages of 12 and 18 conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics during the 2014-15 and 2016-17school years, reports of overall bullying remained the same—about 20%—while there was in increase in cyberbullying from 11.5% to 15.3%.

Girls were most impacted by the increase in cyberbullying, with 21% reporting having experienced it, as opposed to only 7% of their male counterparts. The previous survey showed girls reporting in at 16% and boys at 6%. The survey does not address the sex of the perpetrators, but experts in the field point out that in their experience, the vast majority of cyberbullying with respect to females is “girl on girl."

This issue clearly won't go away any time soon. Meanwhile, educators, lawmakers and others continue to search for solutions. Right now is a good time to review your bullying and harassment policies to ensure compliance and to determine if any changes need to be made. Ongoing education of your staff and students throughout the school year is also well-advised.

Legal troubles tend to occur for schools when reports of bullying and harassment are either ignored or mishandled by district officials. Taking a proactive approach is well worth the effort.

Terri Thomas

Director, Legal Services

Terri Thomas serves as Director of Legal Services for OPSRC. Ms. Thomas is an attorney practicing exclusively in the area of Oklahoma school law, with a primary focus on rural and smaller school districts. Prior to OPSRC, she served as legal counsel for the Organization of Rural Oklahoma Schools (OROS).

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