This week was full of empathic thoughts. It’s painstakingly perplexing to comprehend that the world is full of malicious behavior. That behavior has found its way to a platform that was designed to share information expediently yet has been exploited. I was not oblivious to cyberbullying and bullying nonetheless was not aware of the many victims affected by these behaviors. It is heartbreaking to be cognizant of the statistics surrounding bullying and cyberbullying.
The statistics of cyberbullying were mind blowing. I can’t believe how many kids are subjected to cyberbullying or have participated in cyberbullying. From the readings I ascertained that most parents are oblivious to negative online behavior. I know this to be true from experience. As an administrator, we have to tell parents to make sure they check what their kids are watching or participating in online. We have had tell them of different chat apps to be weary of. Many are thankful and disturbed of what they discover their kids are involved in.
All of the stories this week I read were tear-jerkers. The Ryan Halligan story was especially surreal and appalling all at the same time. It is unfortunate that it took Halligan taking his life to propel legislation into action. Many of the bullying laws were enacted after this tragedy. Laws seem to come into action after a travesty has occurred, yielding reactive measures instead of preventive, however eventually become preventive. Cellphone users are getting younger and younger, creating their digital footprint and accessibility to any content on the internet easier, therefore increasing their vulnerability to become a victim or cyberbullying or participate in cyberbullying. I have witnessed children at my school with their own personal cellphones in PK. The need for understanding what cyberbullying is more vital than ever.
The video that we watched this week of Monica Lewinsky was eye-opening. I admit, my initial thoughts molded by what was portrayed by the media was that Lewinsky was a home-wrecker and many other profane words. I never considered her side of the story and how the scandal affected her. I can say that my perception of her has truly changed. I didn’t know that she was 22 years old when this happened. I can’t imagine if my mistakes at 22 were aired for the public to judge and make speculations of my personal morals and character. I commend her for standing up and sharing her story. I know that took a tremendous amount of courage to relay her feelings and what transpired.
I also learned this week that there are different types of cyberbullying. Hinduja and Patchin discussed in their book several types of cyberbullying. One of the new terms I learned was “flaming”. This refers to sending or posting ill-spirited messages meant to strike the nerves of others. The example that was shared in the book was quite disturbing. However, after reading the example, I was able to make a connection. I have witnessed this type of behavior when reading comments of posted videos or blogs. I would just think the comments were mean, now I know there is a term for this type of behavior.
This week has really shed light on the need of preventive programs for bullying and especially cyberbullying. As an administrator, I want to evaluate the effectiveness of our current bullying programs. I want to ensure that we have measures in place to address cyberbullying.
If you want more information on cyberbullying, please check out these resources:
https://www.stopbullying.govThis website has information on bullying, cyberbullying, and prevention measures.
http://www.bullyingstatistics.orgThis website has statistics and facts about bullying. The facts and statistics are quite eye-opening.
https://cyberbullying.orgThis website is dedicated to cyberbullying. There is information on laws, facts, prevention, identification, and tons more!
There are tons of stories and videos on youtube that paint a pretty vivid picture of cyberbullying. All you have to do is type in cyberbully and hit search. Here are a few: