On the hit television show "Candid Camera" creator Allen Funt used a hidden camera and a practical joke to catch people off guard. When the joke was revealed, victims would be told, "Smile, you're on Candid Camera."
Today there is a new version of this show only nobody is laughing, it's called Cyberbaiting. This form of Cyberbullying occurs when a person is provoked by others to "lose their cool" and their response is videotaped and uploaded to the internet without their permission. Some of the most recent victims are teachers and school bus drivers. People of all ages have cell phones and many of these phones can take pictures and have video cameras. The footage can then be posted online within a matter of seconds from that same phone.
*Debbie Rike, who recently retired as director of transportation at Shelby County Schools in Arlington, Tennessee was contacted by a high school assistant principal about a video a student showed him where one of her bus drivers was standing in front of the bus giving a little dance and lecture to students. Fortunately the student had not posted the video online but it got her thinking and she started searching the internet. She was surprised to find many videos about "angry bus driver" or "crazy bus driver" and she came up with 9 tips about how school bus drivers can prevent this from happening to them. Here are a few of her suggestions:
- Raise driver awareness of cyberbaiting and its potential harm.
- Require drivers to enforce the district's student cell phone policy. Do not allow students to use iPads or cell phones just because it keeps them quiet.
- Drivers should avoid personal and social networking/communication with students. They are not your friends.
- Drivers should not take video or photos of students or situations on the bus.
- Be a professional at all times, never use unprofessional language.
*Debbie Rike, "9 Tips for Thwarting Cyberbaiting," School Bus Fleet Magazine, Vol 59, No. 8, September 2013, pp 36-37. http://tinyurl.com/kzcorcr