Cyber Bullying: Much More Than Innocent Teasing
Bullying is basically the repeated harassment and intimidation of another person. It can be in the form of verbal abuse, physical abuse, manipulation and coercion, among other forms. Bullies have been around for as long as mankind and children can be especially cruel. Children are not born with empathy, nor do they know how to be social unless taught by the adults around them. When adults encourage the bullying or worse, just laugh it off, then children believe that the behavior is condoned. Bullying can be anywhere from mild to severe and can cause deep depression in some children and can even lead to suicide, sometimes called bully-cide, or murder. Jared was one child who was bullied to the point of suicide. He was a 98 lb. 6th grader who was bullied and beaten severely by a 175 lb. 8th grader. The other children who were around did nothing to stop it and the adults who were told of it did nothing to prevent it.
Bullied To death
Cyber Bullyingis a specific type of bullying that is even more insidious than face to face bullying. Due to the anonymity that cyber bullies are capable of, there are less limitations on their behavior. One or more children targets another on the internet for the sole purpose of torment, humiliation and embarrassment and then spreads the harassment throughout the child's school and social networks. It is usually an ongoing campaign, although anyone can become a victim on a moment's notice. This type of bullying must be between minors, for when an adult gets involved, it becomes cyber harassment or cyber stalking. The laws are vague on this type of bullying and it is often difficult to pinpoint the offender. Wikipedia describes it as; the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others. Too many children are victims of cyber bullying with dire consequences. The first convicted cyber bully in Great Britain received only three months in jail after the the teen she harassed reported a death threat.
Meagan Meier was a thirteen year old who, in 2006, hung herself after the parent of a classmate posed as a teenage boy who pretended to like her, then turned on her. The parent was not held responsible because there were no state laws that addressed cyber bullying at the time. This year, Congress is drafting new legislation called, the "Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act". It says, in short, that whoever transmits any communication with the intent to intimidate, harass, or cause emotional distress"... The parent who perpetuated the hoax was acquitted of any charges.
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- Cyberbullying Research Center - findings, stories, cases, downloads, fact sheets, tips and strategie
Provides fact sheets, cases, research, resources, stories, strategies, and solutions to help you stop online cruelty