Research on cyberbullying amongst students has tended to be conducted separately within specific education institutional contexts, schools, further education (FE) and higher education (HE), neglecting a view that takes account of the entire educational lifespan. The present article addresses this gap in the literature, providing a novel take on examining its nature, social environments, legal consequences and potentially helpful interventions. To facilitate this, the article conceptualises cyberbullying in broad terms, recognising that it can take multiple forms of online and digital practice including: spreading rumours, ridiculing and/or demeaning another person, casting aspirations on the grounds of race, disability, gender, religion or sexual orientation; seeking revenge or deliberately embarrassing a person by posting intimate photos or videos about them without their consent; accessing another’s social networking profiles with malicious intent and socially excluding a person from a social network or gaming site. This article demonstrates that harm from cyberbullying is a cause for concern for students at each developmental stage and that there are continuities in its appearance that need to be challenged at each point in the educational lifespan. And inaccurately, by university, the idea that ‘nothing can be done’ still is one of the main concerns for the victims. The article concludes with five key recommendations for future research and practice across the educational lifespan.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited