Earlier this month I posted about Blog Safety and included a link about CyberBullying. Andy Carvin is initiating Stop Cyberbullying Day this Friday, March 30, 2007 and we want to be responsive to this issue in school libraries.
In our school libraries we work hard to create an atmosphere that is positive and safe for the exploration and expression of ideas. Periodically I have a display of books near a stop sign saying "Stop Bullying." The guidance counselor has presented lessons in classrooms about bullying and worked with me so we have a cohesive approach at my school. I have a zero tolerance for hateful behavior. Room #3 in our library is "Take care of your library." Positive interactions are taking care of the library. Every grade is reminded of this during orientation every year.
Every student "worker" who helps for even 2 minutes is given a lesson on customer service and polite, helpful behavior versus bossy, dictatorial pushy behavior. I make a point of reading anti-bully literature with K-2 students each year and we reward "positive" behavior.
Unfortunately, outside our library it can be a dangerous world. Every technology standard curriculum that I have examined has included the ethics of ICT skills. It is essential that we encourage all teachers to be aware of issues of bullying, cyberbullying, and safety whether it is face-to-face or virtual. So put on your capes and go out and save the world! (at least take the first step towards the door and participate in Stop Cyberbullying Day by discussing this on your blogs and listservs)