Tyler Clementi Foundation Emphasizes Early Bullying Prevention Efforts Following AT&T Survey on Cyberbullying, Online Behavior

Half of teens report they have experienced some form of cyberbullying, according to a new survey of New York City teens, parents of teens and millennial parents of young children. Yet, the survey finds, teens hide their behavior from their parents, even though nearly half of parents believe they have taken sufficient steps to monitor their children’s behavior.

“The survey’s findings are an alarming reminder of how pervasive cyberbullying is and how much work we have before us to end bullying and improve online behavior,” said JaneClementi, CEO of the TylerClementiFoundation (TCF), which she founded with her husband, Joe Clementi, to honor their son, a teen who died by suicide after he was the victim of a vicious incident of cyberbullying at Rutgers University in 2010.  The foundation works to end bullying – online and offline — in schools, workplaces, and faith communities through the use of bullying prevention and education programs such as the Upstander Pledge and #Day1toolkits.

Commissioned by AT&T in partnership with the Tyler Clementi Foundation and No Bully, 500 New York City teens, 500 parents of teens and 500 millennial parents of younger children were surveyed between August 31 and October 1, 2018.

The survey also finds that 84 percent of children ages three to seven-years-old have their own internet-connected devices, which TCF notes is evidence that the earlier bullying prevention starts the better outcomes are for children and teens. 

“Starting almost from the time they’re born, we teach our children how they deserve to be treated and how to behave respectfully and kindly toward others,” said Clementi. “The survey is proof that we need to translate those lessons to online behavior as early as preschool in order to develop the habits necessary for healthy online interactions.”

The survey also provided insight into how the first generation of digital natives are tackling parenting when it comes to screen time and online behavior. Despite allowing their children to have ready access to internet-connected devices, 82 percent of millennial parents (parents age 25 to 37, with children ages 3 to 12) are concerned that their children will be cyberbullied.

“Parents should not be on their own when teaching their kids about healthy online behavior and interactions,” said Clementi. “Schools, teams and faith communities must be equipped with bullying prevention resources like our #Day1 toolkits to support what parents are teaching their children at home.”