Cyberbullying Prevention Not Taught in K-12 Classrooms, New National Survey Finds

Sponsored by National Cyber Security Alliance and Microsoft, Poll Highlights Need to Learn Cyberbullying Prevention in U.S. Classrooms

Mar 09, 2011, 12:56 ET from National Cyber Security Alliance

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In the last 12 months, 26 percent of K-12 teachers say they've taught kids how to handle incidents of cyberbullying, while only 15 percent said they spoke to students about online "hate speech."  This according to data released today by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Microsoft Corp.  

The survey is particularly relevant on the eve of the White House's first Conference on Bullying Prevention.  President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, the Department of Education, and the Department of Health and Human Services Thursday will welcome students, parents, and teachers to the White House to discuss bullying prevention.

Survey data show that just over a quarter of teachers said they instructed students how to deal with inappropriate or harassing messages they received online, while just 15 percent said they spoke to students about web content, including posts and videos, that contained so-called "hate speech."    

Yet, despite the absence of anti-cyberbullying lessons in classrooms, both teachers and administrators say they feel prepared to discuss the topic.  Fifty-seven percent of teachers and 68 percent of administrators said that they were prepared to share guidance about cyberbullying prevention with their students.

"Too often in the past year, we have all read media accounts of the real-world consequences of bullying in the online world," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA.  "We hope the light that the highest levels of our country's leadership are shining on this topic will trigger increased use of cyberbullying curriculum in our nation's schools.  We look forward to working with our nation's educators and administrators to help our children fully understand the responsibilities of cyber citizenship."

Jacqueline Beauchere, a director in Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group and an NCSA Board member and officer, added: "Cyberbullying continues to be a concern in the U.S. and around the world.  Microsoft remains committed to help raise awareness of the issue and to continue to work with partners to equip educators, school administrators, parents and youth with the tools they need to help prevent cyberbullying."

The survey of 1,012 teachers and 402 school administrators (principals and superintendents) was conducted by Zogby463 in February.  The data will be included in the NCSA and Microsoft's 2011 State of K-12 Cyberethics, Cybersafety and Cybersecurity Curriculum in the U.S. Survey, slated to be released in April.  

Teacher responses have a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent and administrator responses have a margin of error of +/- 5 percent.

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About The National Cyber Security Alliance

The National Cyber Security Alliance is a non-profit organization. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors, the mission of the NCSA is to empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely protecting themselves and the technology they use and the digital assets we all share. NCSA works to create a culture of cyber security and safety through education and awareness activities. NCSA board members include: ADP, AT&T, EMC Corporation, Cisco Systems, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Google, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services, McAfee, Microsoft, PayPal, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Symantec, Verizon and Visa. Visit for more information.


STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ is the first-ever coordinated message to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online. The message was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, non-profits and government organizations. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) led the effort to find a unified online safety message that could be adopted across public and private sectors. The campaign hopes to achieve for online safety awareness what "Smokey Bear" did for forest fire safety and "Click It or Ticket" did for seatbelt safety, more information can be found at

SOURCE National Cyber Security Alliance