Bullying is a topic of hot discussion in the world of education today. According to the White House, nearly 13 million students across the U.S. are targeted by bullies each year, and the impact bullying has on victims can be severe.
Students who are bullied respond to the harassment in a variety of ways, and are more likely to struggle academically, develop physical and mental health issues, and partake in self-destructive behavior such as drug and alcohol abuse or suicide.
As a solution to school-related bullying, some families are turning to accredited online academies, such as Alpha Omega Academy, which provide safe alternative environments where students can pursue their education. The online format at AOA eliminates the risk of physical harm, while live, online classrooms connect students with both educators and peers to enhance learning.
That's not to say, however, that online schools are immune to bullying. Susan Davies, school psychology program coordinator at the University of Dayton, notes the rise in cyberbullying in recent years.
"It's not something that's just happening at school. They're being targeted in their home when they're not even around other kids," she told the Star Tribune.
AOA strives to provide ways for online learners to form a positive, Christian student community through social media networks, organizations like the National Honor Society, and a private, virtual student center. Yet despite even the best efforts, the threat of bullying can never be fully eliminated.
Though cyberbullying is a real risk, supplying online students with bully prevention tips can help them succeed socially and enjoy online education.
How do you discuss bullying with your distance learner?