• Cyberbullying is using the internet or other digital communication devices to send or post harmful or cruel text or images to bully others. Cyberbullying can be related to in school bullying. Sometimes a student who is being victimized at school is also being bullied online. Sometimes the student who is being victimized at school uses cyberbullying to retaliate against the school bully. Since there is no auditory or visual feedback that an action has caused harm, cyberbullying provides an illusion of invisibility and anonymity removing concerns of detection and punishment.

    Examples of cyberbullying:

    • Sending cruel or threatening text or instant messages
    • Creating websites that ridicule or threaten others
    • Posting pictures of classmates to be rated
    • Sending cruel or embarrassing emails through another person’s email account
    • Tricking someone into instant messaging sensitive information and then forwarding it to others
    • Taking an embarrassing picture of a person using a cell phone and sending the pictures to others
    • Creating a web log (blog) that invites others to post cruel or threatening messages about a person

    Warning signs that a child may be a victim of cyberbullying:

    • Emotional upset, depression, anger, fear, especially if upset after using the internet
    • Avoidance of friends, school or other activities
    • Decline in grades

    What can parents do to stop cyberbullying?

    • Save all evidence of the cyberbullying
    • Try to identify the cyberbully
    • Send one clear message stating “Do not communicate with me again or I will contact the appropriate authorities
    • Contact the ISP (internet service provider), forward messages and request the account be terminated
    • Notify the website and request removal of inappropriate material
    • Contact the phone company if bullying is happening through cell phone
    • Contact the police if severe
    • Discuss bullying and cyberbullying with your children
    • Emphasize the importance of speaking out against cyberbullying and reporting it to an adult


    Cyber-Bullying and Internet Safety Information Provided by the Prevention Office Pinellas County Schools


     What is Cyber-bullying?

    Cyber-bullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others.



      Emotional Harm 24/7

                •     Text and images widely disseminated

                •     Anonymity

                •     Impossible to fully remove

                •     No Place to Hide

      Self Esteem Eroded
      Sense of Safety Violated
      Fear of Reporting

                •     Afraid bullying will get worse

                •     Afraid adult over reaction and restriction from technology


     Cyber Bullying:

      Send one message clearly stating “Do not contact me again or I will contact the authorities”

      Contact the ISP, forward messages and request the account be terminated



       •     Contact the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office  

      Notify the website and request removal

     Trace phone number and contact phone company



    Pinellas County Schools’ policy prohibits bullying and harassment including stalking, cyber stalking and the use of data or computer software. For more information on the Policy against Bullying and Harassment go to


     5517.03 Teen Dating Violence and Abuse Policy:(Secondary (grades 7-12) Students Only)

    The School Board strictly prohibits any act of Teen Dating Violence and Abuse committed by one student against another on school property, during a school-sponsored activity, or during school-sponsored transportation. 


    Cyber Stalking Legislation:

    2003 Florida Legislature amended the states “stalking Statute” 784.048 to include “cyber stalking,” which equates to electronic bullying in cyberspace.

    Penalties for acts under this statute range from a first degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony.


    Tips for Educators:

      Educate faculty, staff and students

      Address cyber-bullying in anti-bullying policies

      Contact law enforcement when appropriate

      Determine School’s Responsibility

       ·       Substantial disruption

       ·       School equipment

       ·       Occurred at school


    Tips for Students:

      Keep personal information to yourself

      Never post a picture

      Always use neutral username

      Don’t give password to anyone but parents

      Tell adult if cyber bullying occurs

      Keep anything sent by the person who is cyber bullying


    Tips for Parents:

      Create rules for internet use

      Educate yourself and your child

      Know what your child is doing online

      Learn the language

      Don’t allow solitary surfing

      Don’t rely solely on technology to protect kids

     Know your child’s e-mail accounts,  profiles, IM screen names, etc


     Bullying/Harassment or Teen Dating Violence and Abuse at school can be reported:

    • Verbally or in writing to the principal or the principal’s designee
    • Anonymously using the designated anonymous reporting procedure at each school or by going to


    Local law enforcement can also be contacted for assistance or for more information.