Bystander Intervention Program as an Effective Tool to Address the Cyberbullying Problems

Conference: The European Conference on Education (ECE2022)
Title: Bystander Intervention Program as an Effective Tool to Address the Cyberbullying Problems
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Yael Zur, The Open University of Israel, Israel
Tali Heiman, The Open University of Israel, Israel
Dorit Olenik-Shemesh, The Open University of Israel, Israel


As the use of social media increased, the cyberbullying phenomenon is expending, and most teachers lack the knowledge of how to address the problem (Del Rey, Ortega-Ruiz, & Casas, 2019). There are three types of participants in cyberbullying events: cyberbullies, victims and many bystanders. Most of the bystanders, will not interfere and sometimes will even help the bully (Mason, 2008). Most intervention programs nowadays focus on cybervictims and cyberbullies (Gaffney, Farrington, Espelage & Ttofi, 2019). The current research, study the contribution of an intervention program that was developed in line with Wong-Lo & Bullock's model (2014) and includes six steps: 1.Recognize the cyberbullying event; 2.Identify the event as an emergency; 3.Accept responsibility; 4.Impart knowledge about effective interventions methods; 5.Interfere in the actual cyberbullying event; 6.Summary. The main purpose of this research is to promote effective ways for teachers to cope with cyberbullying in their classrooms. In this research, an educational program applied to 418 eighth graders students. The research findings revealed a significant decrease in the percentage of cybervictims’ reports, a change in the feelings and behaviors of the cybervictims and a significant improvement in the bystanders’ reactions. This study offers unique, though preliminary, findings of the importance of the educational program. This intervention program contributes to raising students' awareness to, and prevention of cyberbullying, to decrease cyberbullying events, and to change cybervictims’ feelings and bystanders' behavior. The benefit and justification of this program are that it focused on bystanders, which can be significant in decreasing and preventing cyberbullying.

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