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Finally! They are charging cyber-bully teens

14 May

Washington State has set a precedent by charging 11 and 12-year-old kids for cyber bullying.

This is fantastic.  All too often I have heard about kids making others upset writing on Facebook walls, harassing, creating fake profiles, showing and creating unsuitable content on computers, tablets and smartphones.  This isn’t just the boys.  It’s the girls too!  And it isn’t just the older ones.  Students are starting as young as grade 2.

This is definitely an issue that is occurring in schools, but they can’t take full responsibility for the problems.  People, young and old, educators, parents and children need to do something about this problem.

My recommendation is that it doesn’t stop there.  If all countries adopted laws that are not toothless, students will think twice about being inappropriate online. Coming from the top-down takes out the grey area for schools.  A lot of the harassment is taking place at night-time, on weekends, and in the summer time, which is outside of the educational domain.  Is it still suitable for schools to be managing these situations?

We are charting relatively new territory.  However, there is already substantial proof that cyber-bullying is effecting students detrimentally.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researcher Marilyn Campbell said many child victims of cyber and internet abuse felt they had no place to hide.

She said cyber bullies were posting personal information about the victim on the internet while letting all their peers know the web address via email.

Dr Campbell said the victim had no method of direct retaliation and could not even strike back physically. She said that there is a feeling that everybody in the peer group knows what’s going on, whereas in face-to-face bullying it’s at least more contained with only a small audience.

More than 13 per cent of students already had fallen victim to cyber-bullying by year eight of school and 25 per cent knew someone who had. More than half of kids thought the phenomenon was on the rise, the study showed.

While traditional bullying often had long-term damaging consequences for its victims, it was possible to surmise that cyber bullying could have even worse consequences, Campbell said.

What if countries and states are not taking control where you live?  What can you do?  This video has a few strategies, including parenting, education and involvement.

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