Taking a Stand: Tackling Cyberbullying in the Classroom – Insights from Insight PA Cyber Charter School

Insight PA Charter School

EXTON, PA — As the digital age continues to reshape education, the prevalence of cyberbullying has become a growing concern for students, parents, and educators across the nation. The problem is real – and it is growing. According to a recent survey by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 40% of students reported being bullied at school during the 2022 – 2023 school year – a statistic that has steadily increased every year since 2019.

In recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month this October, one Pennsylvania online charter school is renewing its commitment to identifying bullying and providing resources to families. Insight PA Cyber Charter School (Insight PA) is a tuition-free, full-time online public charter school serving Pennsylvania students for whom the traditional brick-and-mortar schooling model isn’t the right fit. Along with their team of counselors, Insight PA offers valuable resources to students and parents to allow them to thrive in a virtual learning environment while addressing this critical issue.

“Bullying, be it physical or emotional, remains an unfortunate and prevalent concern in schools,” said Alison Testa, Insight PA’s Lead Elementary School Counselor. “In fact, we’ve seen numerous students transition to Insight PA after experiencing bullying within their traditional school setting. The effects of bullying are far-reaching, and issues that plague your student now can significantly impact their future. To combat this, parents and teachers must diligently look for the signs of an issue.”

Youth who are bullied are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school. These incidents range from hurtful messages and exclusion on social media to more severe forms of harassment and threats online. To fight these outcomes, parents can:

  1. Foster open communication. Encourage open and honest conversations with your child about their online experiences. Ensure they feel comfortable discussing any incidents of bullying.
  2. Empower students to speak up. Teach students about how to identify bullying and report any incidents they see.
  3. Engage your school’s support programs. Reach out to your school’s teachers and counselors if your child experiences bullying. Schools like Insight PA have dedicated staff trained to address such issues promptly and effectively.
  4. Teach and model behavior. Promote respectful interactions and remind students that their words can have a significant impact on others.
  5. Look into mental health resources. There are a variety of resources for students who have faced bullying including support groups and in-person or online counseling. Reach out to your school’s counselor to learn about resources in your area.

“Together, we can combat bullying – both face-to-face and online – and ensure that students thrive in the classroom,” said Kelsey Tate, Insight PA’s Lead High School Counselor. “With a commitment to academic excellence, innovation, and student success, we empower students to achieve their educational goals and thrive in their relationships.”

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