Cyberbullying, school violence, and youth suicide

Mark Leopold Bennett Trachtenbroit


The frequency of occurrences of cyberbullying among school aged children and its co-occurrence with school violence and risk factors associated with youth suicide have been quantified in numerous national studies in recent years. However, the degree to which school administrators, school teachers, and school counselors at the middle school and high school levels are aware of these national statistics regarding cyberbullying has not been thoroughly researched. The Secondary School Educator.s Cyberbully Awareness Survey was developed to assess educator awareness of cyberbullying. Secondary school educators in this study were found to have inadequate awareness of the national statistics regarding cyberbullying, underestimating the number of secondary school students that cyberbullying affects and underestimating the linkages between cyberbullying and physical aggression, physical injury and carrying a weapon to school while overestimating the likelihood that students who are cyberbullied will attempt suicide. Underestimation of the problem of cyberbullying and its association with school violence at the local school level can have dire and sometimes deadly consequences at school and in the community. As well, lack of appropriate preparation for and response to the problem of cyberbullying at the local school level may result in risk of liability and litigation.