We believe that there should be stricter punishments for Cyberbullies in the Maryland Public School system because of the emotional and social trauma victims face. Many people underestimate the long-term consequences that result from cyberbullying. Victims often experience emotional trauma for years after they are cyberbullied.
Cyberbullying involves technology, which is more prevalent than ever. The more technology there is present in modern-day culture, the more education there should be about cyberbullying and the dangers. Cyberbullying is so much more than just spreading hateful rumors or demeaning others through a computer screen. It is about the mentally and physical distresses affecting the victims. Experts have defined cyberbullying as the actions of someone being hurtful repeatedly and deliberately to others via technology, and it is becoming more common than traditional face-to-face bullying.
One way that schools can help cyberbullying is through education. Although some education systems may think that the education is too expensive, simple videos can be enough to affect the minds of children and teens.
That being said, cyberbullying affects people of all ages.
Maryland schools need to implement an educational system on how to prevent cyberbullying since it’s more common now than traditional bullying. In 2012, Grace McComas, a Howard County School District student, committed suicide. Grace’s death was the ultimately result from a rape and years of being bullied on Twitter. Even though the accident and harassment was reported to school officials, no action was taken by them to help Grace.
Research studies have shown that there has been a steady increase in suicide among those ranging from the ages of 10 to 19. Most students do not speak out because they feel embarrassed or fear that the bullying will get worse, but we can prevent this from happening. Parents and adults should monitor any changes in behavior, especially if a child starts to withdraw, or has trouble sleeping and eating. Parents could also notify authorities and even have a meeting with the bully’s parents. This will help identify if the child is a victim of bullying or/and cyberbullying.
Schools should train their faculty and staff on how to handle situations where cyberbullying is premeditated or currently occurring. However, a simpler and more inexpensive way to teach students about the effects and consequences of cyberbullying is Youtube videos. Organizations, such as the Cyber Bully Virus, use videos to bring awareness to this issue and to educate others on how to prevent cyberbullying.
Age is just a number, and there will always be rumors and gossip circulating in your environment which can lead to cyberbullying. Anyone can be a bully behind a computer screen, it doesn’t matter what age they may be. It’s important to always keep an open-mind and to reflect on how your messages are affecting others around you. It is also important for stronger cyberbullying laws in the state of Maryland to be put into place as technology advances. Through educating others and implementing new laws, we will be reducing the tremendous impact and effects that cyberbullying has on its victims.