Cyberbullying, just another part of the dangers of the Internet, right? With the growing use of social media, text messaging, sexting, video and photo sharing, Cyberbullying is growing proportionally.
Cyberbullying is a growing concern
Bullying is nothing new, however, Cyberbullying adds a whole new concern. With uploading to social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and such from cell phones, Cyberbullying becomes an exponential problem, adding an entirely new dimension of permanence, public humiliation, and viral propagation to bullying.
Last month, Phoebe Prince, a high school student, killed herself after reportedly becoming the victim of bullying at school, via texting and on Facebook. Although we don’t know the details, it is clear that Cyberbullying was part of the problem. With the already escalating teen suicide rate, Cyberbullying only compounds the problem.
Schools and parents are more than alarmed. There is more and more awareness of the problem, but the solution seems evasive. James Lipton and LG have joined together to do PSA’s about teen sexting. (See my blog Sexting: Give It a Ponder before you text.) Parents in Prince’s community are demanding the Superintendent of Schools be dismissed over the issue for falling to protect the students. Many districts are scrambling to implement tougher rules and “Zero Tolerance” for Cyberbullying. I am all for more awareness of the problem, and the search for the solution. But do school officials think they can control the situation?
Once again, I question the solution being more laws. Heavy handed rules have never stopped bullying before. How is this going to be different? I agree we need a solution, but I still think education is the key. Aside from instilling a higher set of ethics in our kids, I see no real solution to Cyberbullying. What’s your take?