about what we learned about the internet article The US Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday that it is instituting new guidelines on how schools, colleges, and universities can address cyberbullies.
The announcement comes amid an increasing number of reports of students harassing and intimidating others online.
The guidelines will be published in the Federal Register this month, and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is expected to make a decision on the guidelines in the coming months.
“The new guidelines will include clear guidance on how to identify cyberbullied students, protect students, and help students navigate their interactions with online harassers,” the Department wrote in a statement.
The agency is asking school districts and colleges to develop guidelines on cyberbulliness and the safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
It’s important to note that the guidelines are not mandatory, and they are not aimed at students.
“Administrators are encouraged to work with schools, college, and university leaders to identify and address cyber-bullying in a way that does not create safety risks,” the statement added.
The government said it will not use the guidelines to impose penalties on schools or colleges, nor will it take any action against them.
The new guidelines aim to better protect students and teachers from harassment, according to a DHS press release.
“These guidelines will help ensure that schools and colleges are able to protect their students from cyberbulling,” the DHS press statement read.
A study released earlier this month found that nearly 40% of students have experienced online bullying.
The study also found that over 40% had experienced a cyberharassment or cyberstalking at some point in their life.
According to the report, nearly two-thirds of students who experienced cyberbullaging experienced physical harassment and one-third experienced emotional harassment.
The researchers found that a significant number of students said that their teachers had warned them about the harassment, which led them to withdraw from school or avoid class.
Many students are also being bullied online by their peers.
A survey conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found that 17% of undergraduates said they had been bullied online, and 19% said they received unwanted attention online.
In another study, students who had experienced cyber bullying at school were more likely to have attempted suicide than students who did not have cyberbullings.
The Department of Justice, which oversees the US Department, issued guidance last year on the use of social media, and also has begun using a “safe harbor” program for students to report cyberbulliance.
“If a school or college does not have a cyberbullography policy in place, the Office of Civil Rights has established a ‘Safe Harbor’ program to help students who are victims of cyberbullial behavior report the harassment to the appropriate authorities,” the DOJ statement reads.
According a press release from the DHS, “the Safe Harbor program provides students with the opportunity to report online harassment, cyberstalkers, and other cyberbullagments, and will also provide students with information on how they can get the help they need.”
A report by the Government Accountability Office last year found that “the cyberbullish, abusive, or threatening nature of some online harassment is not uncommon and poses a significant risk to students, employees, and public safety.”
The GAO report found that the majority of schools and universities do not have policies in place that address cyber bullying.
In its report, the GAO cited several cases of harassment in which students at private colleges and universities told administrators about harassment, and several cases where students said their professors encouraged them to report harassment to a dean.
The GAOC also cited two cases of cyber bullying of a student by a former student.
“As the GAOC reported in a separate report in April, students often have little choice but to report such behavior because they lack the tools to do so, and many schools are reluctant to provide students information or support about cyberbullishing and cyberstalker training,” the GAOS report reads.
“In addition, cyberbullringing often happens with the tacit approval of students and the administrators who supervise them, who have little recourse when the harasser is a teacher, administrator, or counselor.”