WBOY - The United States Department of Health and Human Services said that one in four students in the country have been bullied at school, and nine percent of middle and high school age students are bullied online.
According to teachers today, bullying has evolved in congruence with the rise of social media in a digital era. Electronic bullying is on the rise and teachers are working hard to adapt in the classroom.
“The average student spends 50 hours a week in front of a screen. whether that’s at school or at home. They are spending a lot of time on screens and most middle school, high schools students have a lot of social media sites,” said Davis & Elkins College Associate Professor of Education Jennifer Tesar.
Future teachers are learning what to look for and how to manage bullying in the classroom by adapting to a changing environment and working to teach digital responsibility.
“There’s always that one student or two that is kind of withdrawn, and they are not necessarily working with a group, and maybe they don’t have any friends in the classroom, and that’s understandable, but you have to try to make the classroom a community,” said Education Student Laura Mullenax.
One education student hopes to bring what she learned from her personal struggle with bullying into her classroom and teaching styles.
“The teachers that I grew up with in the classroom where very open to listening to what was going on, especially if it came to the bullying aspect and not getting a break from it and not being able to handle it one my own,” said Education Student Misty Rule.
“Bullying in the classroom is no longer just taking place in the classroom. These students don’t get a break from it. They go home and their phone is constantly chiming in with Facebook comments or Twitter comments. Normally, you think of your home as a safe place, but with technology moving in, it’s harder to find those places,” continued Rule.
Knowing what to look for and how to adapt to the changing environment is just the start of helping students handle bullying. Educators are urging parents to stay informed and work with their student to teach digital responsibility in and out of the classroom.