Click: A Story of Cyberbullying
by Alexandra Philips
Click: A Story of Cyberbullying is the second in the new Zuiker Press series of graphic novels written by young adults for their peers.
Lexi Philips is a confident, talented girl just entering middle school when a misunderstanding during a volleyball match leads to the loss of her friends, and to them relentlessly bullying her via social media. The torment inflicted on Lexi by these mean girls reduces her to a ghost of herself. She believes the posts saying she is ugly, or fat, or skinny, and unworthy of love . . . until her parents urge her to look to herself for strength and not allow bullies to define her.
Lexi finds the power within herself to overcome cyberbullying. And in a twist of karmic fate, the tables turn on her tormenters on social media.
Click includes helpful advice for parents, as well as a special Teacher’s Corner page.
Zuiker Press is proud to publish stories about important current topics for kids and adolescents, written by their peers, that will help them cope with the challenges they face in today’s troubled world.
Five Parent Take-Aways About Cyberbullying
Cyber bullying is the “new bullying”
Parents and students need to be aware that bullying has progressed into the technological era. Bullying used to be something that occurred on school grounds. Today, cyber bullies can attack your child 24/7, on devices you have purchased for them, in the apparent safety of your own home.
Tell a trusted adult if cyber bullying occurs
Sometimes the victim of cyber bullying doesn’t report it. “Save the evidence” of the bullying, take a screenshot, print it out, and show it to a parent, a Principal, or counselor at school. The electronic evidence of abuse may be helpful if law enforcement has to get involved. Whatever you do, don’t retaliate – don’t try and bully the bully.
Parents should monitor all social media
Most parents have little or no idea what social media accounts, smartphone apps, or online groups their kids belong to. For the safety of your children, it’s vital that parents know what apps their children are using and what’s happening in their life online. Respecting your child’s privacy is important, but their safety from online predators, cyberbullies, and “frenemies” (friend enemies) is paramount.
Disconnect more than you connect
Sure, the world today is much different than when our parents were growing up. However, social media, texting, emailing, and group chat should not replace good old fashioned face to face communication. Believe it or not, life can also be really be meaningful when it’s just human-to-human. Connecting on devices is fun and easy, but don’t forget to connect “in person” as well.
Once you post it, it’s for life
Some young people make the mistake of posting risky pictures of themselves for attention. Don’t! One thing about the internet, there is no “escape” button. Pause before you post. Once it’s out there in cyberspace, and the photo is causing problems for you, it’s really hard – almost impossible to get it taken down. Beware of your digital exhaust – practice proper network hygiene at all times.
ABOUT THE EXPERTS
Dr. Mary Aiken
Dr. Mary Aiken is a world-renowned forensic cyberpsychologist from Dublin, Ireland, who specializes in the impact of technology on human behavior and the effect on children.
The National Writing Project focuses the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of our nation’s educators on sustained efforts to improve writing and learning for all learners. NWP, the nation’s foremost network for teacher professional development, is proud to support the Zuiker Press initiative.
Our plan to help children with our graphic novels is simple. We raise private funding from people, companies, and foundations who care about children. Those donations allow us to make them available to teachers, counselors, and school libraries and to spread the word about these compelling true stories to school districts that need these books.
We also provide downloadable guides to each book for teachers as added resources, often at no charge to the teachers.
Do you want to save a child’s life? Our graphic novels do just that by healing and providing hope to those who need it most. Reading is power. Your gift will be designated to support the Zuiker Press School Book Fund, and with your generous gift, more schools will be able to take advantage of the important work that Zuiker Press is doing to help young people tell the stories of their resilience in meeting the challenges that young people face today.