L. Luić, J. Lepoglavec

University North (CROATIA)
The internet, digital technologies and social media have become integral parts of our everyday lives, whether in their professional or personal aspect, or in the context of education and schooling. Along with teaching, one of the main objectives of educational institutions is the socialisation of students in line with common cultural and civilizational values, which include respecting diversity and tolerance towards the society we live in. Consequently, schools have made it their goal to curb and prevent student violence on the internet. The methods for raising awareness and providing information on this issue, as well as on the rules of proper online conduct, fall partially within the domain of schools’ public relations. The opposite of cyberbullying, i.e. online violence, is netiquette. This paper is based on a study of the prominence of netiquette and cyberbullying in the public relations of secondary schools and the process of digital communication in which key actors, their students and teachers, are involved. An analysis of the content published through digital channels, websites and Facebook profiles, was carried out on a sample of 84 secondary schools in Croatia in order to answer the main study question: “How do secondary schools, through their use of digital communication channels, affect the processes of educating/informing students about the dangers of cyberbullying and raising awareness about the importance of netiquette?”. The results were analysed using descriptive statistics, after which it was concluded that secondary schools have failed to recognise the potential of digital media and digital communication in the process of educating students about online conduct, mainly due to their insufficient use of digital communication channels in addressing their public. Based on the aforementioned, the study question was answered as follows: “Schools have insufficiently leveraged their use of digital communication channels to affect their students’ awareness of cyberbullying and netiquette.”