'Before You Text' Sexting Prevention Course
With technology evolving and creating new issues like sexting that need to be addressed, bullying is a related topic that has expanded its definition to include the new issue of cyberbullying. In this module, we will discuss bullying identification, prevention, response and reporting, especially as mandated by the state of Texas. We will also discuss how sexting is related and can be connected to bullying and harassment.
At the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Identify various types of bullying and cyberbullying
- Identify ways students and adults can prevent bullying
- Recognize the definitions of the terms target, bystander, and aggressor
- Recognize the difference between safe/appropriate and unsafe/inappropriate responses to bullying
- Identify different ways you can report bullying and the people you can report it to
- Recognize how sexting can be connected to bullying and harassment
This module will review the following topics:
- What are the various roles involved in bullying?
- How can bullying be prevented?
- How should you respond to bullying?
- What are different ways you can report bullying?
- How are sexting, bullying, and harassment related?
What are the various roles involved in bullying?
An aggressor is someone who engages in bullying someone else physically, verbally, or electronically. It is possible for someone who is initially a bystander or a target to become an aggressor.
A target is someone who is being bullied by an aggressor. Sometimes this person stays a target the whole time, and other times a target can retaliate and become an aggressor.
A bystander is someone who sees bullying behavior happening. It is possible for a bystander to become an aggressor and engage in bullying behavior. It is also possible for a bystander to become a target of bullying. Bystanders, however, have a special opportunity to safely and responsibly respond when they see someone being bullied, and they can also help protect others and prevent bullying from happening again in the future.
How can bullying be prevented?
- School policy prohibiting bullying
- Create an attitude among students and adults that bullying is not appropriate
- Teach students and adults kindness and understanding towards all people
How should you respond to bullying?
- Safely help the target stay out of harm's way
- Politely but firmly say how bullying is inappropriate
- Support the target – be a friend
What are different ways you can report bullying?
- Tell a trusted friend or adult
- Write a note and give it to a counselor or another trusted adult at school
- Use anonymous text or email bullying reporting service
How are sexting, bullying, and harassment related?
Bullying, harassment, and sexting may all overlap in certain cases. Take the example of the high school girl who voluntarily sends a photo of herself to her boyfriend. They break-up shortly after the photo is sent. He then sends the photo to all of his friends and classmates.
The fact that the image is now being sent over and over between everyone involved is bullying and also harassment. The image is being used to continuously degrade or embarrass the girl who sent it. This creates a hostile environment at school, because she cannot escape the comments and ridicule. The act of sending the image, first by her ex-boyfriend, then a number of times by his friends, is a malicious act that harms her emotional health.
It is also bullying or harassment to coerce someone to send you an inappropriate image or video by threatening to either not be their friend, spread rumors about them, or even break up with them if you are in a relationship. Making someone do something that is illegal – like sexting – is bullying and harassment.