Has anyone had experiences with this either directly or their children/ friends/.... etc.
What would you do about this problem if your child was a victim?
(Harassment through digital channels such as email, text message, social network sites....)
I'm not exactly known for tact when it comes to these things, so, personally, I'd take a more direct approach. I'd be willing to accept the consequences of such actions and I understand that others might not be willing to do so. If you're not I'd keep all records of the bullying. Cyberbullying is particularly stupid because the record is right there for everyone to see. Use that to your advantage.
In Missouri they recently passed a law concerning cyberbullying, due to a girl committing suicide over it. You may have heard about the case. Other states may have followed suit, but you'd have to check. Second get the police involved. At least then there is a paper trail that points to a problem. Again if you get in officially recorded, you have a better chance at controlling the outcome. Third, get the school involved. Find out what plans they have in place to cover things like bullying, if any. If not, you may want to challenge the school board as to why they don't consider bullying a serious problem. Finally report the bullying to the sites your kid is being bullied from. Most times that sort of behavior violates TOS and you can get the account shut down. Just realize that you'll have to do all of this in conjunction because there is nothing stopping someone from opening a new account and continuing the harassment.
I'm glad I'm not a kid in this day and age. My only experience with the subject has been from an academic standpoint, as I was part of a group that drew this topic in my Master's program.
First of all, I'd make certain my child knew where their self worth came from. Secondly, most of those sites have block options where you can pretty much ban a certain user from accessing your information. As for email, send that person's stuff directly to spam without opening.
Here, I'd go with the best defense is a good offense. By that, I mean let your child know that these things are out there and that their worth has nothing to do with what other people say, especially those with enough time on their hands to stoop to bullying via the web.
I agree with ledefensetech to keep all materials regarding the situation. I believe e-mails can be used as evidence however IMs cannot, but I would save everything anyways. At my school we have a Victim Advocate who is trained in the laws and such to help students with such a problem. Check and see if his/her school has such a program, more than likely the school district has one.
Are they being stalked? Or harassed? Or both?
I have had the honors of having that experience directly and had been stalked right here on HP. Thank God HP intervened and I also wrote a hub about it titled Cyberstalking. There are many agencies that can and will get involved such as cyberstalking.com ; the FBI, your local authorities where you can file a police report and continue to file against them. I cannot discuss my case but can say that the case is in the hands of the law.
I also agree with ledefensetech -- but only to a point. Keep records of everything. But I would start by contacting service providers and having their accounts shut down. At least the cyberbullies (who are probably bullying lots of other kids too) won't know who did it.
The problem is that once you involve the school or the police, the problem usually becomes that much worse for the kid being bullied. And quite frankly, if I were to go to an authority about it, the first one I'd go to would be the bully's parents THEN the school and THEN the police.
And Julie is right on target. You really need to talk to your child and keep their self-esteem on track. That's probably your best weapon.
We had a huge issue with Facebook this year. Girls threatening to beat up my daughter and some other girls on her dance team. Parents printed out the info, one brought it to the school & I guess two of the girls had to do community service, HOWEVER, the CAPTAIN of the dance team, who started it, got a little slap on her hand...good to know people in high places I guess.
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