Q: What is the goal of MyPAL Schools software?
A: MyPAL Schools ultimate goal is to offer students, parents, staff and community members an effective and efficient way to report Bullying, Cyberbullying, Fighting and School Threats digitally. MyPAL Schools also allows for anonymity for stakeholders that may not want to disclose their identity.
Q: Do schools or organizations have to use the same questions and choices on the MyPAL Schools website?
A: MyPAL Schools offers options to customize the software to fit the needs of your school or organization, therefore you do not have to utilize the exact verbiage and drop down options on the MyPAL Schools website.
Q: Is MyPAL Schools a downloadable App?
A: MyPAL Schools is not a downloadable App. MyPAL Schools is a web-based application, which provides ease of access for students, parents, staff & community to use on any device that can connect to the Internet.
Q: Does MyPAL Schools keep records of situational reports?
A: The MyPAL Schools development team provides records and reports to the school designees authorized for incident reports. The school administration team can determine if the records should be saved on a secure server.
What Causes Bullying?
Bullying in schools is quite common. In fact, it is a systematic problem that needs to be dealt with the sooner the better. It has been reported that 1 in 5 students have been bullied in school. Bullying is done to cause harm and express aggressive behavior. Students who get bullied in school feel powerless and threatened.
On one side, bullying can be quite persistent and destructive, but on the other side, it can also be subtle enough for teachers to identify it. Teachers need to recognize the signs of bullying and also know how to combat this problem because bullying can lead to permanent emotional, physical, and psychological problems.
What are the Main Causes
There are various causes of bullying. Any student in school can become a target of bullying irrespective of their gender, religion, race, or socioeconomic status.
Once teachers understand why students bully each other in school, they are able to combat it in a better way. Various factors can lead to bullying and they include differences in sexual orientation, religion, appearance, race, and social status.
Some students having a higher self-confidence bully other students because they lack empathy and compassion towards other people and can respond in an aggressive manner whenever they feel they are being threatened.
On the other hand, some students also bully others because they want to be perceived as confident and brave enough to cause harm. Students who have experienced abuse and neglect at home can bully others at school due to anger and despair within them.
Those students whose parents abuse them at home and ignore them end up feeling depressed and lonely. To express their resentment, they bully vulnerable and innocent students at school.
If teachers come across seeing these signs in students, they can easily identify that it’s bullying. Once teachers recognize the bullying signs, they can take important steps to combat bullying in schools.
What Causes Cyberbullying?
A lack of Empathy
Technology enables people to distance themselves from a situation even while they are in it. Cyberbullies cannot see the pain they cause and thus cannot imagine the turmoil they put their victims through. In fact, many cyberbullies who were ousted and questioned after the fact said that the act made them feel funny and powerful.
Because they feel the victim deserves it
When it comes to school children bullying others, it is often rooted in perceptions of status. Insecurities are a major factor in bullying and pupils often try to put their peers down to feel superior. It’s common for people to try and discredit or bully others based on a difference of opinion or a sense of superiority.
Boredom becomes pain
There’s no denying that cyberbullies get a sort of kick out of targeting others online. After a while, it can almost become an addiction of sorts where they need a constant fix.
Anyone who’s ever been part of a Facebook or Twitter feud can attest to the fact that it’s too easy to get entangled. These platforms make it hard to ignore incoming messages. It’s easy to just type back a reply or keep logging on to re-read the messages.
Studies have found that there is a strong connection between previous victims and current cyberbullies. Much like violence in real life, virtual bullying is a perpetuating cycle of anger. Therefore, the problem continues to cycle and gets worse each time.
These aren’t the only reasons cyberbullies do what they do. But these are the more common reasons found among those who have investigated cases of cyberbullying.
Regardless of the reasons behind it, cyberbullying is a modern issue. It’s a result of modern technology, and the problem can only escalate further as technology keeps getting more advanced. How can it be stopped?
What Causes Fighting?
Jealousy plays a huge role in starting fights at all levels, whether one is talking about a school, office or even family. Students often end up turning bitter towards classmates who perform better at a class or sport and therefore looking for an opportunity to engage in a fight with them.
Problems at home
The environment at home affects the state of mind of a child a lot. If he hears or sees his parents fighting regularly at home, he may vent his frustration and anger in school, thus getting in unnecessary fights with fellow students.
Some students prefer to keep to themselves and are a bit shy. Others, however, fail to understand this reserved nature of these students and end up thinking that they are being unfriendly and rude, which consequently leads to friction and thus regular fights between people of opposite nature.
To seek attention
There are some students who resort to bullying and harassing other children to seek attention. They are desperate to assert themselves as influential and respected, which is why they incite fear in others. They also feel that asserting their dominance would make them more popular with the opposite gender.
If a student surrounds himself with people who are aggressive and rude, then he is likely to become like them as well and pick on others without any kind of provocation, which can lead to a fight.
Children have become pretty aggressive these days and get provoked easily. Students have begun to demand respect, attention and authority from fellow students, which can often result in clash of ego and interests.
What things are considered School Threats?
Types of Threats
A threat is an expression of intent to do harm or act out violently against someone or something. It may be spoken, written, or symbolic. Threats can be expressed directly or indirectly to the victim or to others, and threats may be explicit or implied. Threats sometimes, but rarely, actually involve guns or explosive devices. Many students who make a threat will never carry it out. Conversely, others who pose a real danger may not make an explicit threat. Threats may be communicated to the intended victim or related to a third party. A threat to harm others can be transient (i.e., expression of anger or frustration that can be quickly or easily resolved) or substantive (i.e., serious intent to harm others that involves a detailed plan and means):
Examples of Transient Threats:
Non-enduring intent to harm
Temporary feelings of anger
Tactic in argument
Intended as joke or figure of speech
Resolved on scene or in office (time-limited)
Ends with apology, retraction, or clarification
Examples of Substantive Threats:
Specific and plausible details such as a specific victim, time, place, and method
Repeated over time or conveyed to differing individuals
Involves planning, substantial thought, or preparatory steps
Recruitment or involvement of accomplices
Invitation for an audience to observe threat being carried out
Physical evidence of intent to carry out threat (e.g., lists, drawings, written plan)
Substantive threats can be serious assault (e.g., beat up or hurt) or very serious (e.g., kill, rape, inflict severe injury, or involves the use of weapons).