Cyberslammed is a manual designed to help parents, school administrators, and kids deal with the risks and results of online bullying.
After introductions designed to introduce the concept of cyberbullying, explain exactly what it entails, and give adults and children general tips for dealing with such events, the book goes into six specific types of bullying: digital pile-ons, rating sites, imposter profiles, haters’ clubs, sexting, and videojacking.
Each chapter on a specific bullying tactic includes a scenario, discussion questions (from the perspective of both bully and target), advice on dealing with incidents at various threat levels, and help for bullied students trying to transform the damage done into new strength.
This is a solid and well-thought-out approach to assisting everyone involved in a bullying incident to a) resolve the incident without violence or further damage, and b) to recover afterwards. The sections at the end of each for kids who are bullied, detailing actual concrete mental and emotional techniques for transforming the damage done, are particularly powerful. (I couldn’t help thinking I wish I’d seen this book 20 years ago myself.)
Bullying incidents are described clearly, and motivations of all parties involved are described compassionately and with understanding. The authors demonstrate vividly how even good kids without evil motivations can find themselves caught up in bullying behavior, and also point out clearly to targets of bullying that they are not being bullied because of some flaw in their character, but because bullying has certain emotional and social rewards for the bully.
The advice the author’s offer to all parties seems sensible, well-thought-out, and practical, designed to end the bullying without causing more pain. The authors’ genuine concern and care for the children involved comes through warmly in every chapter. The book finishes with useful resources, including a template cyberbullying policy for schools.
This is a useful resource, and deserves to be read by anyone in regular contact with a tween or teenager.
Reviewed by Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader