Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Dangers of Cyberbullying

According to wiredsafety.org, cyberbullying is any cyber communication or publication posted or sent by one young person or another. It is intended to target another kid harmfully. Students ranging from the ages of 9-14 are typically the victims. According to the wiredsafety.org, 90 percent of students admit to having their feelings hurt through cyberbullying. Only 15 percent of parents knew at all.

These are the four types of cyberbullies according to wiredsafety.org.

1.) Vengeful angel: They doen't see themselves as bullies. They are protecting themselves and others from the "bad guys". In actuality, they are bullies.

2.) Power-hungry (Revenge of the nerds): These are the offline bullies, who escalate their bullying into the online world. They control others through fear. The revenge of the nerds factor comes into play through this one, as the "nerds" are seen as victims outside of the cyber world. They act tough online to subsidize their fear of the bullies in the school setting.

3.) Mean girls: They are bored girls, who are looking for entertainment. They usually plan their bullying in a group. They are reinforcing their social position. They want to show they have power, and want an audience to be aware of this.

4.) Inadvertent: This group pretends to be tough online. They feel hurt or angry. They don't think before clicking, and just want to heal their emotional wounds.

1) A boy is a victim of a group of bullies. During lunch, he sneaks into the teacher's gradebook, and finds the boys' grades. He posts them on a website, and tells other students about the website. This boy would be considered a vengeful angel.

2) A girl sees hurtful comments about her clothing online. She feels upset, so she instant messages the girls who posted the comments and threatens them. She is an inadvertent bully.

3) A bully over winter break is unable to bully his usual victims as frequently as he is accustomed to, so he constantly threatens his victims online. This boy would be considered power-hungry.

4) A group of girls are bored, and make a website devoted to ridiculing other classmates' flaws. These girls would be considered mean girls.
How do you stop them?
According to stopcyberbullying.org, the best way is to educate students about the consequences of cyberbullying. This means telling them how they could lose their internet service provider, or being disciplined by their parents. Unfortunately, the schools cannot discipline students for cyberbullying off of the school campus. However, they can inform parents about what they can do to prevent students from cyberbullying, and parents play a large role in the prevention of cyberbullying.