Blog Summary

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 InforgraphicCyberbullying 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.

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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.cyberbully-1-694x300

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.

 

Cyberbullying Education Videos

Cyberbullying education is key to stop cyberbullies in their tracks. Many elementary and middle schools have no curriculum that informs students about the dangers of cyberbullying, which is a problem. It is important schools teach children and teens how to deal with cyberbully situations because cyberbullies are not only behind a computer screen, but also walking the hallways of school.

This educational video is meant to show students how to handle cyberbullies in an appropriate manner. The video is effective because it shows real students, not paid actors who are unrealistic and foreign to students. More schools should have mandatory viewings of educational cyberbullying videos in order to help stop the problem all together.

Don’t Get Cyberbullied.

Cyberbullying takes it’s form in many different shapes. Where? Who? What? That’s the thing. You cannot pin cyberbullying on a specific demographic. This video explains that cyberbullying is like a virus, taking many forms and extremely hard to tell where i976ace85d3165c285b885e74f908155c.jpgt’s coming from. There are so many new “trendy” things that young adults do that can be construed as cyberbullying. For example, “TBH” which translates to “To Be Honest” and how that works is when you like someones “TBH” they write on your wall with something that is with no reservation, the truth. All these forms of cyberbullying leave multiple generations and demographics sustainable to being a victim of cyberbullying. Watch this video to learn more about how to prevent cyberbullying.

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/cyberbullying-prevention-guide-for-kids

Refutation: Cyberbullying could cost you

It seems as if principals and teachers are having to pay for cyber bullying prevention training programs in public schools.  Some principals and teachers don’t see the value in these prevention programs that cover how to deal with cyber bullies and signs that a student is being bullied. Fran Thomas Jr., principal at Memorial High School, in Worcester, Massachusetts, said, “at least the lunch is included,” when he found out it costs $145 per person to train them in cyber bullying prevention. Thomas simply thinks that the price for these prevention programs are too high in order to train his entire staff. Thomas goes on to explain that these tools, which the state of Massachusetts are now implementing, provide none of the correct efforts to seriously reduce the kind of bullying that goes on online. Several other principals in Massachusetts agreed that enforcers of preventing cyber bullying should not require out-of-pocket money, but instead come from the state.

If enforcers aren’t even willing to pay to prevent their students from cyber bullying, how can anyone expect offenders to pay their fines. Aerin Curtis, author of Cyberbullying could cost you, states, “In Wyoming, students can be fined anywhere from $250 to $750 if it is determined that they are sending abusive messages via text and social media.” These fines do not worry people who are hyped up behind a keyboard ready to bully someone. These fines paid by offenders should go straight to funding for high school prevention programs. Doesn’t that make the most sense?

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The Instagram Bully

Cyberbullying is expanding as new social media platforms are being created. One of the most popular ways that teens today are using to share their interests, life updates, and hobbies is through Instagram.

Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them either pubda7fe4e11ec06f1a5a3ec613dd1c66a3licly or privately on the app.  An average of 55 million photos are shared each day on Instagram. Since the app has become popular, it has also attracted cyberbullies. Here’s a few different ways the Instagram bully works

  1. Post a malicious or embarrassing photo of a target for all of their followers to see
  2. Write a caption on a disgusting or insulting photo and tag it with a target’s username
  3. Post cruel remarks under a photo that someone else posts
  4. Use the “Add People” feature and tag an image with the target’s name
  5. Add a mean hashtag under a photo
  6. Create a fake account with the victim’s name
  7. Post screenshots of private text messages
  8. Post embarrassing screenshots while using FaceTime

The Cyber Bully Virus

The Cyber Bully Virus is a popular youtube video that shows the dangers of cyberbullying in middle school aged children. The video uncovers some of the brutal realities that victims face on a daily basis, and the emotional harm cyberbullying may cause.

One comment on the video stands out, “There is a way to avoid [cyberbullying] actually: just don’t use the Internet.” This comment shows how ignorant some adults are towards the issue. We need to make a change. Watch the video below:

 

Affirmative: A Permanent Psychological Toll

According to an article in University Business Magazine, cyberbullying has worse effects logothan many people may think. Cyberbullying harassment is so brutal because it is subtle, but has extremely long lasting effects. Anybody who was cyberbullied in middle school or high school knows that memories of those times follow you. In some cases, victims of cyberbullying will always remember their bully and forever live in resentment and fear of that person.

“Cyber bullying, cell phone texting, and cell phone sexting have rapidly become more subtle and prevailing forms of harassment/violent acts within our schools and the lives of our private and public school children.” -University Business Magazine

Many people do not understand the extent of the emotional trauma that cyberbullying causes thousands of children and teens. Many more intense and dramatic stories of bullying and violence make the news. Lately, stories of cyberbullying have been gaining an increasing amount of media attention- proving the impact cyberbullying has on our society.

Just as acts of violence …jeopardizes the intent of the school to be free of aggression against persons or property…disruptions, and disorder (Center for the Prevention of School Violence, 2000, p. 2), cyber bullying and textual harassment are equally disruptive and threatening.

In other words, schools do not give cyberbullying the same attention that they give other matters. Cyberbullying should be a main concern for schools because it is more relevant than traditional bullying and it can affect the general physical and emotional wellness of a child or teen.

The anonymity of the Internet makes cyberbullying even more dangerous than some other cyber-bullyingtraditional acts of violence. More often than not, words that are conveyed by cyberbullies are not messages anybody would ever say to another’s face. Cyberbullying victims are humiliated on a worldwide stage, on a platform that lasts, virtually, forever.

In a PEW survey, 94% of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 go online. In other words 94% of teens have the potential to get cyberbullied and by a cyberbully on a daily basis.

A study by UCLA proved that 75% of teens were bullied online, and of those bullied online 85% were bullied in school as well. In other words, cyberbullying is not restricted to the Internet. Cyberbullying that happens online could translate to traditional bullying as well.

Schools need to stand up to cyberbullies and see that Internet bullying is not an “out of school problem” but a problem that we can help solve with proper enforcement and education!