Discussions around preventing cyberbullying among school-aged children continue to trend. Cobb County School District’s Dr. Patti Agatston recently shared her knowledge on the topic of social media, online cruelty and cyberbullying with an international audience. In May, the CCSD Prevention and Intervention counselor delivered the keynote presentation at the World Anti-Bullying Forum in Stockholm, Sweden.
Dr. Agatston, who serves as the current president of the International Bullying Prevention Association, addressed the cyberbullying topic from a youth perspective.
“I shared the importance of addressing cyberbullying within the context of bullying because youth indicate that online bullying primarily occurs in reaction to issues happening in ongoing relationships and between peer groups,” Dr. Agatston said.
While cyberbullying has some unique features, Dr. Agatston suggested to the audience that they might need to view the cyber world as a location for bullying rather than as a separate entity.
“Many youth have difficulty separating online and offline bullying because their experiences are so interwoven,” Dr. Agatston explained.
Teens suggest that in-person solutions are best when addressing online cruelty and cyberbullying, which makes social-emotional literacy skills more critical than ever for youth, according to Dr. Agatston.
While talking to the group of about 600 international attendees, Dr. Agatston discussed her work with CCSD, specifically introducing the framework of Restorative Practices to help build community and respond to wrongdoing.
On the second day of the World Anti-Bullying Forum, Dr. Agatston gave a presentation on cyberbullying to His Royal Highness Prince Carl Philip and her Royal Highness Princess Sofia. The Swedish Royalty attended the forum to share their concerns and interest in preventing and addressing bullying and cyberbullying. Dr. Agatston was one of three speakers invited to share her knowledge of cyberbullying in a small reception for Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia.