Let’s Stop Cyber Bullying NOW! Volume 1, Issue 1
Story By: Maya D. Williams
‘The Computer’ in Today’s World In the last couple of years, cyber bullying has become an epidemic due to the easy access that children have to different types of technology today. It has now become a problem that needs to be controlled, but unlike regular bullying, it is very “Cyber bullying is difficult to wrap your hands around. It is when someone uses almost impossible to the internet or any enforce rules about cyber bullying beother social media to cause of our civil as well as threaten or hurt some-liberties our freedom of one emotionally.” speech. It is often argued that others should not be able to get involved in what is going on between two people over the internet, but I disagree. Anything posted on the internet will always be there, and millions are able to
view it. It is up to parents, as well as teachers, to monitor children on the computer and enforce internet safety whenever necessary.
Cyber bullying is when someone uses the internet or any other social media to threaten or hurt someone emotionally. This can be done many different ways, for example email, text, mobile phones, and chat rooms. This would include things like texting derogatory messages on mobile phones, students showing the message to other people before sending it out to everyone, sending threatening emails, as well as forwarding confidential emails to a group of people. Often when the topic of cyber Children become familiar bullying is discussed, everyone with how to use a computer immediately thinks of simply at very young ages.
Cyber bullying in the Classroom Cyber bullying takes place in school systems most of the time. When a student goes home every day to messages from people in their class, they actually become scared to attend class each day. This can really affect them socially, as well as academically. As a teacher, it is important to take control of the issue and stop it immediately. Bullying is not something that will pass over time; it needs to be stopped as soon as it
hurting someone’s feelings over social networks like MySpace, Facebook or even twitter, but there is so much more to it.
is noticed. An article written by ‘eSM START’ speaking on tackling school bullying explains plenty of different ways to prevent bullying.
Let’s Stop Cyber Bullying NOW!
Consequences of Cyber bullying Cyber bullying can be something as small as calling someone a name, to something as extreme as telling them that the world would be a better place without them. This happened in a case a few years ago of a 13 year old girl named Megan Meier. Megan met someone online that appeared to be a boy named Josh, her age, and they began to chat. They soon started to get really close, although they have never met in person. She enjoyed speaking to ‘him’ day by day and one day, when they got into an argument, ‘he’ began to tell her how worthless she was to the world and that no one cared if she was dead or alive. Being a 13 year old girl, this really hurt Megan because it came from someone that she had begun to build a really strong friendship with and she immediately went
into a state of depression.
When someone sits behind a computer to “You never torment someone else, they know how have deep peryour words sonal issues can affect within themselves that someone should be taken else.” care of. Most of the time when someone bullies someone else, whether its cyber bullying or not, they look for a sense of belonging. What I mean by this is that they lack
something within themselves, and they feel that it is okay to take their frustrations out on others. What they do not think about is the effect they have on their lives. Like the case I spoke about earlier, the 13 year old girl committed suicide because of what someone else said to her. You never know how your words can affect someone else.
A day after the incident with her online friend, her father found her hanging by a cord in her wardrobe closet. Megan had taken her life because someone that she thought she could trust betrayed her over the internet ‘simply with words’.
After an investigation was done on this case, it turned out that the ‘boy’ that Megan thought she was talking to each day was a woman that lived down the street from her. The woman that caused this young girl to be depressed and take her own life has not been charged with a crime. How is this okay? Everyday people impersonate others over the internet because it is extremely easy to do so. Someone can easily find a picture of anyone, make an account online, and begin to chat with strangers.
Megan Meier’s parents
Megan Meier Foundation Tina Meier, the mother of Megan Meier, decided that it would be best for her to quit her job and begin a foundation in memory of her daughter. The purpose of this foundation is this foundation is to bring awareness, education and promote positive change to children, parents, and educators in response to the ongoing bullying and cyber bullying in our children’s daily environment. They provide help to any teenagers that are suffering from emotional distress or who have ever had any thoughts of suicide. They
offer the opportunity for anyone to submit a story anonymously about what’s happened to them, in search of help. This foundation has saved many lives, and it’s still doing so!
Volume 1, Issue 1
How do we stop it? One way to avoid bullying in the classroom that stood out most to me was through ‘self-created curriculum’. An eighth grade technology teacher, Greg Garner, explained how he puts himself in his students shoes when it comes to safety on the internet. He knows how fun the internet is for his 13-14 year old students, but he also knows how unsafe it can be. This is why he incorporates lessons into the curriculum for his students to have fun, as well as get the message across that internet safety is extremely important.
bility of educating their students. It’s like they become their student’s parents away from home. The way Greg Garner incorporated internet safety into his lesson, is something that all teachers should do as well. Students tend to listen to a teacher more than a peer, so when they are told by their teacher the dangers of bullying someone online, they are more likely to stop.
When someone decides to become a teacher, in my opinion, they are taking on a much bigger task than just the responsi-
What can parents do? Parents need to be the one trusted place kids can go when things go wrong online and offline. Yet they often are the one place kids avoid when things go wrong online. Why? Parents tend to overreact. Most children will avoid telling their parents about a cyber bullying incident fearing they will only make things worse. (Calling the other parents, the school, blaming the victim or taking away Internet privileges.) Unfortunately, they also sometimes underreact, and rarely get it "just right." (You can read more about this in "Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold! Goldilocks and the CyberParents") Parents need to be supportive of your child
If there is any indication that personal contact information has been posted online, or any threats are made to your child, you must run.do not walk, to your local law enforcement agency (not the FBI). Take a print-out of all instances of cyber bullying to show them, but note that a print-out is not sufficient to prove a case of cyberharassment or cyber bullying. You'll need electronic evidence and live data for that. (You may want to answer the questions on our checklist for helping spot the difference between annoying communications and
Teachers play a huge role in helping to prevent cyber bullying. Educated your class on ways to avoid bullies and why bullying is wrong.
during this time. You may be tempted to give the "stick and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you" lecture, but words and cyber attacks can wound a child easily and have a lasting effect. These attacks follow them into your otherwise safe home and wherever they go online. And when up to 700 million accomplices can be recruited to help target or humiliate your child, the risk of emotional pain is very real, and very serious. Don't brush it off. Let the school know so the guidance counselor can keep an eye out for in-school bullying and for how your child is handling things. You may want to notify your pedia-
potentially dangerous ones. But remember, if in doubt, report it.) Let the law enforcement agency know that the trained cyber-harassment volunteers at WiredSafety.org will work with them (without charge) to help them find the cyber bully offline and to evaluate the case. It is crucial that all electronic evidence is preserved to allow the person to be traced and to take whatever action needs to be taken. The electronic evidence is at risk for being deleted by the Internet service pro-
trician, family counselor or “Most children clergy for support will avoid telling if things protheir parents gress. It is crucial that you are about a cyber there to provide bullying the necessary incident fearing support and love. Make them feel they will only secure. Children make things have committed worse.” suicide after having been cyber bullied, and in Japan one young girl killed another after a cyber bullying incident. Take it seriously.
viders unless you reach out and notify them that you need those records preserved. The police or volunteers at WiredSafety.org can advise you how to do that quickly. Using a monitoring product, like Spector soft, collects all electronic data necessary to report, investigate and prosecute your case (if necessary). While hopefully you will never need it, the evidence is automatically saved by the software in a form useable by law enforcement when you need it without you having to learn to log or copy header and IP information.
Story By: Maya D. Williams
Primary Business Address 100 Education Avenue South Orange, NJ 03749 Phone: 555-555-5555 Fax: 555-555-5555 E-mail: email@example.com
Against Bullying Organization
CALL/ E MAIL U S! W E’ D L OVE T O H EAR F ROM YOU!
In today’s world, students have access to the internet over their mobile devices, they know how to do things on the computer that many adults cannot do, and this is why cyber bullying is so challenging to try Caption describing and conpicture or graphic. trol. The web can be a fun
place for children, but at the same time a very dangerous place. The only way to stop this bullying over the internet is to educate students and inform them on the impact words can actually have on someone’s life. As mentioned before, teachers play a huge role in the prevention of cyber bullying, but that’s not all. Parents have to watch what their children are doing and saying over the internet, be cautious as to who your children surround themselves with and do not be completely against the fact that your child can be getting bullied.
Cyber bullying happens every day and most of the time children/ teens are afraid to tell people because they are afraid or even embarrassed. Ask questions, monitor the computer history, etc. There are ways to end this terrible act of bullying, and although it takes time, I am confident that it can be done.