Alan Beitman Superintendent of Schools for Burlington and Harwinton sent out an email telling parents. “Yesterday afternoon, the Bus Company reported to me that a Region 10 parent came aboard the bus and directed some strong comments to students on that bus.”
The incident occurred in Burlington with Har-Bur Middle School students aboard.
“It is our continued practice not to allow unauthorized individuals onto the Region 10 School Buses and to ensure children are kept safe to and from school.”
Additionally, Beitman said, “During our discussions with students regarding what may have prompted the interaction, the school administration has learned some students may have participated in a “game” called “Roasting” – which involves students insulting each other.”
Roasting is a new cyberbullying trend.
According to ABC News: The trend involves people asking to be insulted by posting photos or videos of themselves on platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Reddit, usually with the hashtag #roastme.
Then friends or strangers online will take turns insulting the person who posted the original video or photo. Sometimes the insults are lighthearted or humorous, but the comments can also very quickly turn alarmingly mean.
Most teens and tweens don’t recognize roasting as a form of bullying. Instead, they see it as a continuation of normal behavior.
They’ll insist that it’s “all in good fun” or that the victim “doesn’t mind.” In some cases, the victim may even have started the roast, putting out a picture and asking for people to roast them.
Any time one group of teens or tweens gangs up on another, especially if a group gangs up on a single person, it’s a good indication that the behavior needs to stop.
It’s often done among friends, so parents can’t rely on the sudden appearance of an unfamiliar individual on their children’s social media pages to key them into trouble.
If you suspect that your child is engaging in roasting, don’t wait for it to get out of hand. Instead, sit down and have a conversation with your child about appropriate online behavior and the risks associated with roasting–including why it’s not “all in good fun.”
Beitman is encouraging parents to share and discuss this new social issue with their children.