Social media bullying after school hours flows into our classrooms

University of Canterbury specialist teaching programme co-ordinator Dr Cara Swit said adolescent bullies often bullied other teens both online and face-to-face in the school environment.

“There’s no reprieve for the victim, it’s just ongoing, they can’t get away from it.”

It was much easier for online bullies to conceal their identities which made intervention harder, she said.

Schools were supposed to be a safe space for students, but if bullied, they were unlikely to have a sense of belonging and security. They were likely to internalise the feelings of rejection which led to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

And the depression and anxiety spiralled as they continued to be bullied, in what was a crucial development period of their lives, Swit said.

The bullying also impacted on the academic performance of the victims, as they struggled to concentrate on their work. Continue reading

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