Cyber Bullying

High school students used to only be faced with mean words from their peers face-to-face during the hours of the school day. Students would dread coming to school, fake being sick or even transfer away from the school they were currently attending to get away from someone or a group of people who was unnecessarily making their life challenging. With the technology and social media that we have in our current society, bullying takes a whole new level.
The ever-connectedness of students with their social media accounts and profiles through smart phones, tablets and laptops means that the hurtful words of their peers can follow them everywhere. Phones can go off in the middle of the night with new comments that cause emotional grief and distress for students and at the extreme – lead to very negative consequences.
Sometimes students purposefully try to hurt their peers, other times they have no idea the impact that their words make on another person until it is too late. The education of what bullying and specifically cyber bullying is, must take place in our schools to protect our youth. It is then up to our students to recognize when someone’s actions have crossed that thin line between a joke and something more.
It is also very important for students to become educated on what they should do if they see or hear about someone else being bullied in or out of school, in person or online. It can be extremely terrifying and some students even feel like a “tattle-tale” but reaching out to an adult or guidance counselor to address a problem you are aware of could ultimately save someone’s life. Retaliation from a bully is a major fear that keeps students from reporting bullying in the first place but many schools have developed anonymous tip lines or even boxes in guidance counselor offices to eliminate the chance of that.
Standing up for someone else to fight against a bully is so important in the world that we currently live in. No student deserves to feel terrible about him or herself or fear attending school because of someone else’s actions or words. Take the necessary steps to learn just what bullying is and how to address or prevent it.

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