My letter to our leadership + counseling teams about "cyberbullying"

Leadership and counseling teams, I wanted to pass on two editorials on “cyberbullying,” as it is such a hot topic these days with the recent suicide cases. It would be good for all of us to raise our own awareness on the issue. I put “cyberbullying” in quotes intentionally to demonstrate the crafted nature of the word – more on that below.

The first piece is by danah boyd – she is regarded as one of the leading researchers on young people’s use of the Internet. Her piece is 3 years old, but an important one nonetheless. She combats the idea of cyberbullying and encourages the reader to think of the real issue as bullying in general. Her piece is here:

Anil Dash, one of the web’s most prolific and oldest bloggers, takes a similar position and cites danah’s piece in his editorial (which has some profanity, be warned). His piece is new and makes some observations about the battle between new (Facebook, Twitter, etc) and old (TV, radio, print, etc) media. This is a topic we cover often with our students as each group tries to demonize the other. His piece is here:

I think both of these get to the heart of the matter. While it is clear that technology affords certain nuances of bullying, it is also clear that bullying is an ancient interaction. Our work must be to show students why this must never be the route they take and what to do if they are being bullied.

These articles were shared by a colleague at Dwight, @bkolani.

If you have any thoughts on the article, please feel free to stop by and talk about it.


arvind s. grover

I am a progressive educator, a podcaster (, a blogger, and dean of faculty of JK-11 school (building a high school) in New York City.