Reflections on the International Bullying Prevention Conference

The International Bullying Prevention Association’s Conference in Seattle once again provided excellent sessions and resources to address bullying in schools and online. This year’s conference had a special focus on cyber bullying with a day-long panel series on the issue as part of the pre-conference.  Nancy Willard of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use did an excellent job organizing the series of panels that were moderated by Larry Magid and Anne Collier, both of ConnectSafely.

Cyber bullying needs to be addressed from multiple perspectives and the panels helped bring researchers, school-based practitioners, youth involvement organizers, and law enforcement together to share their best ideas and strategies for addressing this complicated and multi-faceted issue. As the conference proceeded we learned more about the overlap between traditional and cyber bullying.

Dan Olweus reported that approximately 85 percent of the students who reported being cyber bullied on his surveys report being traditionally bullied as well. While there are some unique features to cyber bullying, it increasingly appears that cyber bullying is directly related to the school-based peer group. Thus taking a “whole school” approach to addressing cyber bullying makes a great deal of sense, recognizing that conversations in the classroom and at home need to adapt to reflect the fact that youth increasingly socialize online.  It also means that youth have to be a driving force in our prevention efforts since much of this socializing occurs without adult supervision.

Welcome to Our New CyberBullyHelp Blog!

Welcome to our newly revised CyberBullyHelp website!  We have updated our site to make accessing content easier.  As you can see, we have also added a blog feature and hope to update it on a weekly basis – or even more frequently!

There are two important conferences coming up that are generating a lot of interest, and both will have top-notch presenters on bullying and cyber bullying.  The first is the Family Online Safety Institute November 9-10 in Washington D.C.  I will be part of a panel on cyber bullying along with Elizabeth Englander of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, Will Gardner from Childnet International, and Jason Rzepka from MTV.  There are some amazing sessions scheduled over the two days and I am particularly interested in hearing about new research from David Finkelhor as well as updates from danah boyd’s fieldwork with teens and social media.

Also in November, the International Bullying Prevention Association’s 7th Annual Conference, The Challenge and Promise of the Cyber World, Bullying Prevention in the Age of the Internet, takes place November 15–17 in Seattle, Washington.  Dr. Susan Limber and I will be presenting on Cyber Bullying:  Tools and Tips for Prevention.  I will also be part of a pre-conference panel on Cyber Bullying and Youth Risk Online that will be moderated by Anne Collier and Larry Magid of ConnectSafely.  I expect this panel to be groundbreaking in its breadth, because it will address youth risk online from a variety of perspectives.  I hope you can make it to one or both of these exciting conferences, or read about them on this blog in a future post.


Patti Agatston