The cyber bullying facts are hard for most people to apprehend, and this is not surprising. Whenever we hear the term “cyber bullying,” one name instantly comes into our minds – Megan Meier. She was just a month shy away from her 14th birthday when she relentlessly hanged herself and ended her life. The reason? She became a poor victim of cyber bullying.
The case of Megan Meier is an example of the harsh reality of cyber bullying. The cyber bullying facts are getting alarming day after day. The perpetrators are young people who victimize other young people thru the internet and other related technologies like sending instant messages, text messages, and the likes to intentionally cause harm, humiliation and embarrassment to other kids and young people.
Forms of Cyber Bullying
- Hate-filled web sites and web pages are used to damage the reputation of the victim.
- Use of cell phones with built-in cameras to take embarrassing photographs and videos and place on the Internet for the world to see.
- Sending derogatory remarks and threats through text messages, emails, instant messages and the likes.
- “Sexting” or sending sexually suggestive text messages.
The cyber bullying facts show that this type of harassment may cause as much damage as physical and verbal bullying.
However, the results may be far worse.
- In UK, 1 in every 4 teenagers has been victimized by cyber bullying either thru the internet or thru mobile phones.
- 16% of young people from 11-19 years of age have already received threatening text messages.
- 115 among this group of young people have already been harassed in live internet chat rooms or receiving threatening emails.
- About 1 in 5 kids will be a victim of text message bullying, a new form of cyber bullying.
- 1 in every 10 teenagers is engaged in text bullying, mostly girls.
Because of the widespread catastrophe brought by cyber bullying, governments in many countries have taken strong convictions against punishing the bullies. Cyber bullying laws in the USA:
- California Bill: AB 86 – This legislation gives schools the full authority to discipline students who bully other students both offline and online.
- Florida Bill HB 669 – This legislation stated that any forms of bullying and harassment are prohibited in any school-related activity.
- Illinois Bill: SB 2512 – This legislation provided authority to school districts to implement a school curriculum about internet safety.
- Maryland Bill: SB 199 – The State of Board of Education prohibits any form of bullying, harassment and intimidation in schools.
- Missouri Bill: SB 818 – The legislation gives full authority to school boards to have written policy that would require the schools to report every incident of crimes in school including harassments in all forms.
The Cyber Bullying Facts – What Should We Do?
Parents, guardians, kids, school administrators and concerned individuals can do anything within our reach to finally stop cyber bullying. Here are some insightful advises:
- Parents and school administrators should explain to the kids what cyber bullying really means, why it is harmful and the painful consequences it brings.
- Encourage children to tell their parents about any incidents that they encounter regarding cyber bullying.
- Always guide your children to be Internet safety savvy.
- Parents should be permitted to have access to see their children’s account so they can check their online activities and protect them from possible cyber bullying.
- Let the children feel that it is not their fault to be bullied.
We cannot allow another kid to take away his life just because of cyber bullying. One Megan Meier is enough and the world can no longer take another painful experience as this. No matter how horrible the cyber bullying facts sound, we need to learn a lesson and be even better prepared to fight it.
*Image Credit: Monocletophat123 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons