A school district is battling online bullying by teaching students how to use social media, and be responsible citizens of cyberspace.

Battling Online BullyingOnline attacks have taken the place of playground insults, and Jurupa Unified School District has decided to deal with the problem at the source, teaching students the proper way to use social media. “They’re more comfortable trashing each other in the privacy of their home rather than doing it in the lunch yard,” said Erika Krause, a teacher and technology coordinator at Jurupa Middle School.

“It’s kind of a losing battle with some of them,” Krause said. “We’re trying to stay ahead of the curve as far as learning from them what they’re doing.”

Most of the district’s 19,000 students received Chromebooks this year, and the district followed up by offering the digital training. The students take the devices home, and there are filters to block inappropriate content.

“We have norms for how to behave in classrooms and hallways, but what is our expectation for our kids to be appropriate online?” said Josh Lewis,  district director of education-information technology. “If you don’t set those expectations, kids can do whatever they want.”

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