Cyber-bullying is when a child or adolescent is threatened, harassed, or humiliated by another child or teen using the Internet, cell phones, or other technologies (stopcyberbullying.org). During the 2003-2004 school year, iSAFE America (a group involved with internet safety education) surveyed students from around the country. According to the results, 42% of kids have been bullied while online, and 35% have been threatened. They also found that 58% of kids did not tell their parents or another adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online (iSafe.org). When an adult is involved, these actions become cyber-harassment or cyber stalking. There are two types of cyber-bullying: direct attacks, which is when the cyber-bully sends the message directly to the victim, and cyber-bullying by proxy, which is using others to help cyber-bully the victim. Kids and teens cyber-bully for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes they are angry, frustrated, or even just bored. Many kids cyber-bully unintentionally while trying to get laughs from peers (stopcyberbullying.org).
Teenagers today spend more time using the internet and other technologies than ever before. Teens use this technology for school and keeping in touch with each other, as well as during their free time. This makes cyber-bullying easier for teenagers, as they aren’t as closely monitored while spending time on the computer or using a cell phone. This chart from Dr. Sameer Hinduja and Dr. Justin Patchhin shows that teens frequently use the internet for schoolwork as well as using their cell phone at school. When it comes to mixing technology and schoolwork, students are more likely to cyber-bully if only because of how accessible the technology is to them while they are around their peers.
As compared to school bullies, cyber-bullies can remain anonymous by creating fake accounts online or using a pseudonym. Playgrounds and classrooms are constantly supervised by adults, while most electronic forum and email or social networking accounts are not. Cyber-bullies may also find it easier to bully online because it’s not as “personal” or face-to-face. In 2010, Drs Sameer Hinduja and Justin Patchin surveyed students in large school districts in the southern U.S. They found that 14% of students reported mean or hurtful comments being said about them online in the last 30 days. 13% reported that rumors about them had been posted online. An astounding 3% of students said that someone had created a mean/hurtful website about them, in only the previous 30 days. The same study found that girls are much more likely than boys to wind up both the victim and the perpetrator of cyber-bullying. 26% of females surveyed reported being cyber-bullied, while only 16% of males did. And 21% of females report cyber-bullying others, while only 18% of males did (cyberbullying.us). Victims of cyber-bullying have lower self-esteem, a variety of emotional responses (such as feeling angry or depressed), and an increased suicide ideation. A victim may also begin to avoid peers at school. There were at least four examples of teen suicide that have been linked to cyber-bullying in 2009 alone.
Kylie Kenney, an 8 th grader from Vermont, became aware of a website called “Kill Kylie Incorporated”, that was “devoted to show people how gay Kylie Kenney is”. The site included phrases like “Kylie must die”. Kenney was further harassed when peers created fake instant messaging accounts with her name and using them to ask girls out on dates. Kenney received professional help, changed schools twice, and was even homeschooled for a semester. Ryan Halligan was a 13 year old who committed suicide by hanging himself in his parent’s home. After his death, his parents found instant messages between Halligan and a girl from his school, in which the girl pretended to like Halligan and then copied and pasted personal messages between them into messages to her friends. Ryan told the girl “it’s girls like you who make me want to kill myself”. Megan Meier also committed suicide in her home three weeks before her 14 th birthday as a result of cyber-bullying. A classmate (along with her mom) created a fake Myspace account and pretended to be a boy who had just moved to the area. After chatting with Meier for a period of time and gaining her trust, they began sending her messages such as “the world would be a better place without you”. Fifteen year old David Knight found a website full of hateful comments towards him and his family. Knight says “I was accused of being a pedophile. I was accused of using the date rape drug on little boys” These examples of cyber-bullying are the extreme, but there are smaller instances that happen every day to teens around the country. After awhile these small comments can build up and create dangerous situations like teen suicide.
It’s unclear how much cyber-bullying actually takes place on school grounds, but nonetheless, it can have an enormous effect on a school environment. Students who are being cyber-bullied are often angry or depressed, which can make it hard to concentrate in school. Cyber-bullying also indirectly creates cliques, which brings the focus away from academics while students are at school. Cyber-bullying on school grounds involves students using technology at school for non-academic reasons. Many schools have certain websites blocked on school computers, but it is often very simple for students to get around these obstacles. It has also been found that in-school bullies are more likely to become cyber-bullies. It is also true that students who are bullied in school may become online bullies.
Educators should be sure to educate their students, teachers, and other staff members about cyber-bullying, its dangers, and what to do if someone is cyber-bullied. They should also be sure that school rules about bullying also directly address cyber-bullying and closely monitor students’ use of computers at school. They should use filtering and tracking software on all computers, but be careful to not rely solely on this software to screen out cyber-bullying and other problematic online behavior. Educators can also investigate reports of cyber-bullying immediately. If cyber-bullying occurs through the school district’s Internet system, they are obligated to take action. If the cyber-bullying occurs off-campus, they should consider what actions they might take to help address the bullying, including speaking to the parents of all children involved.
The House of Representatives recently passed legislation that prohibits bullying and cyber-bullying, and requires schools to develop a bullying prevention plan and to integrate bullying prevention instruction into their curriculum. The bill prohibits bullying at schools (including school-sponsored events), on school buses and at school bus stops, as well as the use of electronic devices to carry out cyber-bullying. The bill also bans bullying or cyber-bullying outside of school if the bullying affects the school environment. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be required to set regulations mandating teachers to report incidents of bullying. It also dictates that a school must promptly investigate reports of bullying and notify law enforcement if the bullying would result in criminal charges.Teachers and staff will be provided with training on identifying, preventing and responding to incidents of bullying. There will also be services for students who have been bullied, or have acted as a bully. Most legislators believe that the current status of teenage “sexters” is too harsh: teenagers are listed as sex offenders and could receive jail time for distributing nude photographs. Sexting is a new type of cyber-bullying. A student sends a picture to someone they trust, and that person sends it out to peers who were not intended to see it. In 2007, Phillip Alpert, an 18-year-old from Orlando, e-mailed a nude photo of his 16 year old girlfriend to dozens of people and her parents, which led to five years of probation and being registered as a sex offender. In 2009, a 13 year old girl named Hope Witsell committed suicide days after a nude photo she sent to a boy she liked was distributed among students.
With educators and other school staff cracking down on bullying in schools, cyber-bullying has increased in popularity. However, with recent changes in legislation which require public schools to be more specific on what constitutes bullying and their plan for dealing with cyber-bullying, hopefully students will think twice before logging online to make hurtful comments to each other. An important way to end cyber-bullying is for schools and parents to hold children responsible for their actions. If they wouldn’t bully someone in school, why would doing it online be any different? Educators should make it clear to students that cyber-bullying will not be tolerated, and students will disciplined. Parents should talk to their children about proper online and texting behavior, and be sure to monitor their teenagers while they are online.
Although this type of bullying is done in cyberspace, cyber-bullying has real-life effects and consequences. Currently, nine teenagers are being charged with bullying that led to a teenager’s suicide, and some of it was cyber-bullying. Bullying not only effects the victim, but it can clearly effect the future and life of the bullies. As future educators, we can make sure that cyber-bullying (or any bullying) will not be tolerated anywhere on school grounds. It’s important to make children realize that words on a computer can be just as harmful as those spoken aloud, even though it’s much easier to make a few keystrokes than it is to insult someone to their face. Educators should show students that the internet can be a dangerous place, especially for teenagers. It’s also important for students to realize that cyber-bullying IS the same as normal bullying, and schools have a right to punish those who bully and disturb the learning environment.
Cyber-bullying On School Grounds Brittany Noble Author: Extra Ketchup
Significance of Cyber-bullying <ul><li>Defining cyber-bullying </li></ul><ul><li>Cyber-bullying statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Cyber-bullying vs. cyber-harassment and cyber stalking </li></ul><ul><li>Types of cyber-bullying </li></ul><ul><li>Motives for cyber-bullying </li></ul>
Background Information <ul><li>Comparison to traditional bullying </li></ul><ul><li>Recent cyber-bullying findings </li></ul><ul><li>Gender differences in cyber-bullying </li></ul><ul><li>Effects of cyber-bullying </li></ul>
How Cyber-bullying Affects Schools <ul><li>Effects on the student </li></ul><ul><li>Effects on the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Misuse of school technology </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship between cyber-bullying and traditional bullying </li></ul>
Suggestions for Schools <ul><li>Educate students and teachers </li></ul><ul><li>School rules </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor computer use </li></ul><ul><li>Filtering and monitoring systems </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate reports of cyber-bullying </li></ul>
Legislative Efforts <ul><li>Relationship between cyber-bullying and “sexting” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Sexters” should not be listed as sex-offenders </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recent bill passes in House of Representatives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not only bullying in school but cyber-bullying that affects the school environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulations mandating teachers to report bullying </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Services for bullied students and those acting as a bully </li></ul></ul>
The Future of Cyber-bullying <ul><li>Cyber-bullying is bullying of the future </li></ul><ul><li>New legislation will help stop cyber-bullying </li></ul><ul><li>Holding children responsible </li></ul><ul><li>The role of educators, school staff, and parents </li></ul>Author: woodleywonderworks
Conclusion <ul><li>Cyber-bullying is a real problem </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Effects and consequences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What can be done to decrease bullying </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the classroom and at school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Setting examples </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cyber-bullying vs. normal bullying </li></ul>
References <ul><li>Stopcyberbullying.org </li></ul><ul><li>Isafe.org </li></ul><ul><li>Cyberbullying.us </li></ul><ul><li>Education.com “How is Bullying at School Related to Cyber-bullying?” </li></ul><ul><li>Stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov </li></ul><ul><li>Images: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.flickr.com/photos/extraketchup/622612084/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://cyberbullying.us/2010_charts/teen_tech_use_2010.jpg </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.jeffreyjohnston.org/megan-pledge.htm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/3957311986/ </li></ul></ul>