The Respect Effect

What is The Respect Effect?

The aim of this educational resource is to empower students to recognise and take action against online
bullying, through their own positive actions and behaviours and through helping to create an anti-bullying environment on a school-wide level. It sets out to foster empathy, respect and resilience and to help young people to understand the consequences of their actions and the impact of cyberbullying on all involved. The learning activities aim to develop students’ social and emotional literacy in the online environment and to promote critical thinking and responsible digital citizenship.

This educational resource should be used as part of a whole education approach to preventing bullying. In delivering these lessons teachers are embedding anti-bullying education within the SPHE curriculum for junior cycle students.


Lesson 1 - Connecting Online

In this lesson students will assess the benefits and potential drawbacks of using digital media to create and maintain friendships and relationships. They will begin to consider the broad spectrum of online behaviours including the potentially harmful side of connecting online, particularly cyberbullying.

Lesson 2 - Understanding the Impact

This lesson will provide students with an understanding of the implications of bullying behaviour online. This lesson will give students the opportunity to reflect on the problem of bullying behaviour online and help them to understand the effects that cyberbullying can have.

Lesson 3 - Behind the Screen

This lesson will give students the opportunity to probe more deeply into the nature of online communication and how it differs from traditional offline methods by looking specifically at issues around anonymity and invisibility online. It will consider the phenomenon of online disinhibition and why people may choose to act or communicate differently online to how they would in person.

Lesson 4 - Showing Empathy

This lesson considers how empathising with others can enable us to prevent and respond to bullying behaviour, both online and in person. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of showing empathy in their online interactions and ways that empathy can be expressed.

Lesson 5 - Only Messing

In this lesson students will discuss what subtle forms of bullying behaviours look like online and how to distinguish between banter and bullying behaviour. Students will recognise the signs of this behaviour and develop strategies to respond appropriately if they encounter subtle forms of bullying behaviour online.

Lesson 6 - Taking Action: Upstanders and Allies

This lesson examines the roles people play when bullying happens, the impact a bystander can have and develops strategies to safely report and support targets of online abuse.

Lesson 7 - Navigating Friendships

This lesson will help students recognise healthy friendships and relationships online moving forward and will also explore how to recognise signs of unhealthy online communication habits and expectations.

Lesson 8 - Report: #Up2Us

In this lesson students will know how to report bullying behaviour online and will know what reporting involves. They will analyse and refine their school’s Anti-Bullying Policy and AUP to help improve the school’s policies in supporting students in the online environment and becoming responsible digital citizens.


What is Online Disinhibition?
Brené Brown on Empathy
The Respect Effect presentation
Cyberbullying Class Survey
Kahoot Quiz

Silent Witness Short Films

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