by: Justin Kuperschmid
Cyber-bullying is a substantial crisis for teens in the United States. Cyber-bullying hurts people in countless ways. It can happen through the internet, texting, social media and videogames. Actions of bullying and harassment are not just cruel, they are against the law. There are laws in New York State that protect children from being bullied and harassed. The Dignity for All Students Act provides student with a safe school environment, free from bullying.
Many wonder what cyber bullying actually is. According to the website http://www.stopbullying.gov “Cyber bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Examples of cyber bullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.”
The PEW Research Center published a study in 2011 titled “Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites”; the study claims “88% of social media-using teens have witnessed other people be mean or cruel on social network sites.” Social networking sites are public domains where kids feel like they can mock others and have an audience to entertain. This same study reported “15% of social media-using teens say they have been the target of online meanness in the past year.” If interested, read more about this study http://pewinternet.org/~/media/Files/Reports/2011/PIP_Teens_Kindness_Cruelty_SNS_Report_Nov_2011_FINAL_110711.pdf
Cyber bullying is a serious issue. Children have been emotionally hurt from cyber bullying and there have also been extreme instances of suicide. Cyber-bullying can make people feel sad, hurt, lonely and depressed.
One way to stop cyber-bullying is to ignore or block the person, so you don’t have to hear from them again. If you are being cyber bullied, you should also tell a parent, teacher, guidance counselor, or friend. It’s always good to speak up if you are being cyber-bullied and let someone know that may be able to help. A cyber bully can be stopped if an adult or mediator gets involved. Many times the person who is doing the bullying may need support and guidance from an adult to stop their behavior.
Through talking about this issue and creating awareness, we will begin to address and fix this problem with cyber bullying. Stand up for your friends and peers against cyber bullying and take a stand.