Anti(cyber)-bullying week
Monday, November 14th, 2011 | Author:

During a discussion with Year 3/4 teachers last week, we were talking about anti-bullying week which happens every year. Now we are lucky enough not to have a bullying problem in our school and whether this is down to our children, our staff or our policies, I don’t know, but it doesn’t really happen. So how could we cover anti-bullying week with a new slant?

I thought about our blogs. these are our portal to the world and we discussed cyber bullying. We came up with a plan.

Using a fake name and email address, I clicked on a blog post from each of the year 3/4 classes and left a comment. The comments were either about their line-dancing lesson or the ‘Dress up and Battle as a Roman’ morning. The comments were rude but not too offensive.

For example I said: ” I think you look silly in your shields and hats, I think the Celts would have beaten you”. I wanted it to be enough to get them angry and to question it, but not enough that they would cry or be too upset!!

Now this won’t get picked up by spam filters as I used a real-enough looking email address and name so that it would appear in the moderation queue.

I hadn’t thought of this as being risky until I shared the idea on Twitter so I wonder. What are the risks?

Children could get VERY upset – Hopefully not, we’ll only be displaying the message for a short time before we delete it or spam it as a class.

Parents could get involved – Again, I hope not! But if they do, we will discuss why we are doing it. I believe it is a serious message and the children are old enough and mature enough to deal with it. We are not asking parents permission before we do this and we will not even discuss it with them afterwards.

The messages will never go live and will only be seen by 30 children per class.

How do you cover cyber-bullying or online safety?  Is this a good idea? Or a risky one?