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Internet bullying

With the click of a key, bullies are humiliating their peers. What are schools doing to tame this behavior?

By Amanda Paulson | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
For one middle-school girl it was a rumor, circulated via text messaging, that she had contracted SARS while on a trip to Toronto. She returned to school and found nobody would come near her.

For an overweight boy in Japan, it was cellphone pictures, taken of him on the sly while he was changing in the locker room and then sent to many of his peers.

And for Calabasas High School in California, it was a website – schoolscandals.com – on which vicious gossip and racist and threatening remarks grew so rampant that most of the school was affected.

The actions themselves – rumors, threats, gossip, humiliation – are nothing new. But among today’s adolescents – a generation of instant messengers, always connected, always wired – bullies are starting to move beyond slam books and whisper campaigns to e-mail, websites, chat rooms, and text messaging.

While in some ways it’s no worse than old-fashioned bullying, cyberbullying has a few idiosyncrasies. Websites and screen names give bullies a mask of anonymity if they wish it, making them difficult to trace.

The pressure for kids to be always online means bullies can extend their harassment into their victims’ homes.

And the miracle of the Web means that sharing an embarrassing photo or private note – with thousands of people – requires little more than the click of a key.

“It used to be if something happened at school, someone made a joke about you, or said something in front of you, that was horrible enough,” says Glenn Stutzky, instructor in Michigan State University’s School of Social Work. Read the whole story.

OSA Editorial Comments: 

After talking with my friend Councilman Shari Lazenby, who has recently brought this problem to my attention. We have decided to make our ebook “Don’t Take Candy From Strangers” available at a national level for a limited time we are offering a discounted rate for school district’s in the subject line put: multiple copies special licensee, please contact us for more information.

We are going to continue to do some extensive research on the subject of teenage aggression including Internet bullying, bully blogging, and new craze called “happy slapping“.

Raising young girls myself and seeing these horrific things taking place, even in our own public schools among our young girls, is very saddling to me. I intend to devote as much time as possible to helping parents to get answers they need to these social problems. That’s why we are making our ebook available at a national level, please take advantage Now

Your Online Security Authority
Bill Wardell

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