Sarah McGuire
Group Project

Cyber Bullying

In recent history when one referred to bullying it generally meant that one child was picking on another child. This could be physical bullying where the bully inflicted bodily harm to the victim. It could also have meant psychological torment, when a child was demeaned and ridiculed at the expense of others. However, with the dawn of the technology age, bullying has taken on a whole new aspect in horror. Cyber bullying.
What is cyber bullying, anyway?
“Cyber bullying is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones (WiredKids, n.d).” The phenomenon began when students started gaining more access to the internet and other technological outlets. After the school shootings at Columbine, schools started cracking down on bullying on school grounds. Alas, the internet provides a gray area that cannot be monitored as closely. (Arseneau, 1999-2011) It often occurs on social networking sites that are popular with youth today: Facebook, My Space, Twitter, etc.
What is the current state of cyber bullying?
The number of students affected in some way by cyber bullying has increased tremendously over the years. One survey found that in the year 2000 one in 17 middle school and high school students was being affected by this form of harassment. Another study conducted in 2008 reported a staggering half of all students in the same age range were affected by cyber bullying. (Arseneau, 1999-2011)
The scary truth about cyber bullying is twofold. For one thing, young adults tend to be more plugged in to the cyber world than the adults in their lives. This means that many times the bullying goes undetected for long periods of time. Another reason cyber bullying is so alarming is the sheer number of people who have access to humiliation of the victim. In some cases, the tormenting was so bad it resulted in suicide.
What can be done to prevent cyber bullying?
Parents must take action in being aware of their child’s activity on the World Wide Web. Parents should have full access to a minor’s social networking pages to monitor for any signs of cyber bullying taking place. They should talk and listen to their children if there are any signs of emotional distress due to internet activities. If needed, a school counselor can be contacted if the bullying is a result of a student attending the same school as the child. If there are ever physical threats made to a child, parents should contact the authorities to deal with the situation. Calling the “bully’s” parents could only result in further, heightened bullying or a dispute between parents. In all cases, WiredKids cautions, cyber bullying should be taken seriously.
Asreneau. (1999-2011). The Histroy of Cyber Bullying. Retrieved November 17, 2011, from eHow:
WiredKids. (n.d.). What is cyberbullying, actually? Retrieved November 17, 2011, from Stop Cyberbullying:
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*Below are helpful links for more information on cyber bullying, or if cyber bullying is suspected by or directed to someone you know.
Provides useful information on preventing cyber bullying. Also provides links to news stories about cyber bullying.
A great resource for parents.
A kid friendly video and tutorial about cyber bullying.
A printable pdf guide to cyber bullying for parents or educators.
Provides information for families about cyber bullying with audio capabilities