The page also said that the boy was planning to start a fight at school the following Monday. In addition, photos taken from the Facebook page of his mother were used on the fake page, including a photo of the boy as a baby being held by his grandfather."
To read the full story go here.
Two points worth noting here, no three--
1. Defuse The Words The most common insults that are used to cyberbully both straight and homosexual kids are the words "gay" or "fag"--and for girls, they are commonly "whore or slut." Come up with what we call “pre-play” strategies with your teens for potential conflicts or ones that are already occurring. Pre-play the use of this word in a potential cyberbullying situation and devise a number of ways they can choose to react to it. Bullies know these words hold power and hurt when wielded publicly. Teach teens to strip the power right out of these words. Now, how do you do that in a realistic situation? (Not some "the More You Know" type of public service announcement advice that make teens roll their eyes right out of their heads.) Besides the classic advice of "ignoring it," I just looked to see if there were any verbal techniques to handling this--all I could find is a yahoo thread giving advice. Some of this advice just antagonizes the aggressor, some of it is just dumb, but I saw one or two lines in there that seemed realistic enough to demonstrate to the cyberbully that the teen isn't all that bothered by their use of the word (i.e. disabling the power.) Modifying one piece of advice in here, I especially liked the mature approach:
"Say 'Dude I'm not gonna play your game. Just because you say that I am doesn't mean i am. Sorry to disappoint you."
2. Ditch The Conflict "The page also said that the boy was planning to start a fight at school the following Monday."
The article doesn't give enough detail about this, but suffice it to say, the boy was fully in conflict with someone or a number of people offline before the incident happened. As we keep saying, the problem is the behavior, not the technology. No matter what age your teen or tween is, your teen is always going to encounter conflict with a classmate, a friend, a romantic partner, at some point. And whatever conflict that starts offline has the potential to go online and vice versa. Our Imposter Website chapter provides specific conflict resolution exercises to help teens avoid the behaviors that get them enmeshed in this tactic.
3. Protect your online privacy "In addition, photos taken from the Facebook page of his mother were used on the fake page, including a photo of the boy as a baby being held by his grandfather."
Parents--we can't say this enough-you contribute to your own children's cyberbullying when you inadvertently allow the public to view photos/video or any other sensitive information about your child. If the cyberbullies can't find something on your kid, they'll look to see who else they can "lift" content from. So be vigilant about keeping your social media profile protected from public view. Teach your kids to keep their online content (called their digital footprint) private and neutral. With their online comments, postings, video, photos, etc.— it’s all traceable—and highly usable to a potential cyberbully. Get them in the habit of self-monitoring everything they transmit through Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc. and see if any of their content can be used against them or can start or add conflict to something else.
Have a safe start to the school year.
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