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Learn about what Cyber-bullying Really is!

Studies show that large percentages of adolescence are utilizing data sources forms of communication to intimidate, threaten, and otherwise bully fellow students. Though some students may have the fortitude to ignore their bullies, a majority of the victims suffer long term as a result of the bullying.

We must give schools more power to intervene in cases of cyber-bullying whether it occur on or off campus in order to protect innocent children and teenagers from cyber-bullying.

Because students may access social networking sites on and off school campuses, it is difficult to draw a line at which schools do and do not maintain control over what occurs on these sites although it affects their students. Essentially, even if the bullying occurs off school property, the victims may access their accounts on campus, causing them to feel the effects of the bullying while on school grounds.

Additionally, cyber-bullying is in some ways more severe than other methods of bullying because the audience is much larger, so the effects are felt more strongly. Therefore, it is essential to specifically combat this form of bullying which has already claimed many lives.

According to the Cyber Bullying Research Center, middle school students who are victims of cyber bullying are almost twice more likely to commit suicide than students who are not victims. When we consider that anywhere from one-third to one-half of middle school students have been the victims of cyber bullying, it becomes apparent that the effects of this form of victimization may affect a huge proportion of our youth. This is a scary realization.

Phoebe Prince, a 15 year old high school student in Massachusetts, hanged herself after months of daily victimization by her classmates. When she was only bullied at school, she was able to find a safe haven in her home. However, once they resorted to bullying her online through instant messaging and social networking, Phoebe had no way to escape from her tormenters. After her death, a memorial page was established on Facebook to bring awareness to the serious impact of cyber bullying. This page too, was used as a forum to taunt her, and as a result of the continued abuse, her parents were compelled to discontinue their daughter’s memorial page.

Imagine that you are the mother or father of a young adolescent. Your child, like most teenagers, has a cell phone, uses social media, and regularly communicates with others via SMS. Imagine if you discovered that your child was being threatened by his or her friends, classmates, or even people he or she doesn’t know. Imagine you found that your child was being bullied by others all day, with no way to escape from his or her tormenters. Imagine that you brought it to the school’s attention and they told you that they are powerless to address the situation. Now imagine that your child is driven to suicide by this persecution. Your child is gone, and there is nothing more you can do.

I know that many of you are thinking that in fact these issues are not in the schools’ jurisdiction. You might say that issues of cyber-bullying are not within the context of the schools’ responsibility. You might say that they have no right to regulate off campus expression as this infringes on the guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech in the First Amendment.

While this is a valid concern, it is important to point out that the Right to Bear Arms is guaranteed in the Second Amendment, however we legitimize the right of schools to check students for weapons while in school. In fact, we find it understandable when schools have security checkpoints at their entrances. Is there really much of a difference between the two? Weapons have been considered illegal on school property because they are recognized as presenting a distraction from the learning environment because of their use in harming and intimidating students, faculty, and staff.

Is cyber-bullying really that different? It too may present a distraction from the learning environment through the use of intimidation and harm. And it too causes death. Is it legitimate to say that Freedom of Speech must be protected more than the Right to Bear Arms? Isn’t it more important to protect the innocent victims of both?

By granting the school systems more power to intervene in cases of cyber-bullying, we have a greater chance of preventing the serious repercussions that can come about from cyber-bullying.

I have begun a project on the OpenLab for students and the public to join together and collaborate on methods of bringing this serious issue to the attention of the Department of Education as well as other government bodies. Everyone who has a smart phone, please take it out and go to openlab.citytech.cuny.educyber-bully . There is a discussion that I have started there. When I have 50 comments I will forward them to School Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. For those of you who don’t have internet access, I am requesting that you send out one text message today reading, “Don’t let our students get caught in the bullies’ web! Stop cyber-bullying” Anyone who can post this message on their social networking sites with the link to my site, I would greatly appreciate it.

If we join hands today, we can untangle today’s youth from the bullies’ web!





Hayward, John O. “Anti-Cyber Bullying Statutes: Threat to Student.” August 2010. Selected Works. Web. 14 April 2013.

Holladay, Jennifer. “Cyberbullying.” Education Digest 76.5 (2011): 4. Masterfile Premier. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.

Kowalski, Robin M., Susan P. Limber and Patricia W. Agatston. Cyber Bullying. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2008. Print.

Moreno, Gerardo. “Cases Of Victimization: Case 3: Phoebe Prince (Massachusetts, 2010).” Preventing School Failure 55.2 (2011): 87. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.

Wheeler, Thomas. “Facebook Fatalities: Students, Social Networking, and the First Amendment.” Pace Law Review 182 (2011). Masterfile Premier. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.





Don’t Let Students Get Caught in the Bullies’ Web!

Join me in advocating for schools to be granted more power to combat cyber-bullying. Share your ideas and suggestions for how we can stop students from suffering from the unnecessary repercussions of cyber-bullying. Check back often for the most recent research and join the site to get updates on a regular basis!