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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Refutation: A Reason to Worry

A recent article posted by makeuseof.com claimed that someone should “not worry” if world-shaker-cyberbullying-infographic-421097they or a loved one experiences cyberbullying. Studies have shown that children and teens who are cyberbullied are already self-conscious about coming forward and talking about their bulling. Sources who downplay the issue of cyberbullying encourage the destructive culture that we live in, where people think of cyberbullying as “no big deal.” If cyberbullying were really not an issue, thousands of children would still be alive today.

Claim: Cyberbullies are pathetic

Yes, this is true. Although most bullies are genuinely trying to cover their own insecurities, they still cause irreparable harm to others. If people begin to accept the fact that “cyberbullies are pathetic,” no change will ever come about.

Claim: Nothing lasts forever

Cyberbullying may not last forever, it may last only one day, but the damage done can last a lifetime. The website claims that eventually everything makes it off the Internet, but who cares if something is off the Internet because it has affected a human being who may have to live with the thoughts their whole lives.

Claim: Better content gets visibility

Most of the damage done regarding cyberbullying does not include others seeing in online. Yes, most people who are cyberbullied experience anxiety due to peer influence, but the real damage is done directly to the victim themselves. The article claims that all you have to do is out-perform them in search engine rankings. The last I checked, victims of cyberbullying do not care about search engine rankings.

Claim: People care about you

This is true! But, once again, does not mean cyberbullying should be tolerated.

So what can we learn? Many people do not thinking cyberbullying is as much of an issue as it truly is. Schools, the government, parents, and other children and teens do not understand the mental torture that victims of cyberbullying go through. We need stricter punishments for cyberbullies because the damage done to a victim is severe and, in many cases, permanent.

Refutation: Cyberbullying Should NOT Be A Crime

Cyberbullying is a term that has taken the world by storm and has been reported through a variety of media outlets for the past few years. We have all heard the stories of people, mainly young ones in middle and high school taking their lives as a result of constant cyberbullying. This is why people are fighting for tougher laws against cyberbullying from schools and public officials alike. Although the ending of short lives can be agreed upon by many as rather unfortunate, not all believe that it is at the fault of the bully.Man-in-jail-PF

There are those who argue that bullying, in any sense whether physical, verbal, or cyber, is inevitable and that younger people today are just responding incorrectly. This is up for debate but what could be better said is an alternative to prison. “If the only tool you have is prison, then every problem looks like a crime”, as explained by NY Times author Paul butler, a former federal prosecutor in his article “New Criminal Laws Aren’t the Answer to Bullying”. Because these cyberbullies did not intend for their “victims” to end their lives they should not be sent to prison, but punished in some other way. It can also be argued that the right to Freedom of Speech is being taken away from the cyberbully if they are arrested.

According to Forbes the United States already has the highest incarceration rate in the world, spending $60.3 billion in budget expenditures. Imprisoning students would add to this and the current 2.3 million people already in our overcrowded prisons. And as stated in the Forbes article, “Bullying Is Bad, But Criminalizing Bullying Would Be Even Worse” by Eli Federman “When bullying leads to suicide it is deeply tragic, but the fact is that this result is exceptionally rare. Millions of teens are bullied annually yet few take their lives.” Because the circumstances of those taking their lives as a result of cyberbullying is minuscule in comparison to the number of all who are cyberbullied, there is no case for the criminalization of cyberbullies, but there is call for some type of just punishment.

Refutation: Is cyberbullying true bullying?

A recent article published on NBCNews.com suggests that cyberbullying may not be the americanpsychoassepidemic that people once believed it to be. The article cites that the American Psychological Association received data in a survey that, in a study containing 5,000 teens, only 15 percent reported having been cyberbullied. This information differed from previous data that claimed 30 to 72 percent of teens have been bullied online.

The article explains that youth and teenager use of the internet and social media get a bad reputation because of high-profile cases where young people become extremely depressed and in some cases, commit suicide. In fact, the author questions whether cyberbullying should be considered bullying at all:

“Indeed, there’s debate over what cyberbullying actually is. Traditional bullying involves repetitive episodes of abuse carried out by one person who is viewed to have more power, usually physical, over the victim.”

15 percent is an unrealistic number. In many, if not most, cases of cyberbullying, the victim is fearful to let the problem be known. The definition of bullying includes the fact that the bully and the victim have a power imbalance. Although cyberbullying does not fit the traditional definition of a physical power imbalance, the inequality lies in the confidence that the bully feels behind a screen versus the lack of confidence the victim feels. Just because only 15 percent of the 5,000 students were confident enough to admit they were cyberbullied, does not mean only 15 percent were actually victims.

Cyberbullying is more prevalent nowadays than “classic” bullying. Digital devices are more common to see than personal interactions. Because the technological world is advancing at such a rapid rate, schools need to keep up and update the rules and regulations within the system.