Monday, March 30, 2009

Mission 4 Monday- Prevent Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying — the practice of using technology to hurt someone's feelings — is turning computers and cell phones into weapons of personal destruction among America's youth. Imagine being a 13-year-old girl facing classmates after discovering a cell phone picture of her changing for gym class is being circulated among the seventh grade. Or imagine being an 11-year-old boy who is scared to go to school because an unknown bully sent him an instant message saying that he is so fat that he should kill himself. Cases such as these are happening every day, leading kids to be depressed and unable to concentrate.
Worse yet, parents are oblivious to what is happening. Only 15 percent of parents polled by even knew what
cyberbullying was. And anyone who thinks that their child is not a victim or a bully is probably wrong — 90 percent of middle school students have had their feelings hurt online and 75 percent have admitted to visiting a web site bashing another student.
Unlike traditional schoolyard bullying, where a bully has a name and a face, cyberbullying gets much of its power from anonymity. A cyberbully might design a web site posting cruel remarks and altered photos of a classmate and never tell anyone that he or she was the creator. Cyberbullying also gets its power from the scope of its audience. Within seconds, a cyberbully can send an e-mail to everyone he or she knows inviting them to take part in an online poll of who is the ugliest kid in their class. Victims can be picked on day and night from virtually any location.
The good news is that you can help stop cyberbullying. By making parents and educators aware of what is going on and encouraging them to take quick, strong actions when cyberbullying cases occur, you can help make technology constructive, not destructive, for young people.

Distribute a copy of
The Educator's Guide to Cyberbullying to all teachers at your local school.
Recommend the
Dealing with Online Bullies lesson plan to local teachers. Encourage them to use videos of cyberbullying cases to stir discussion. Print out copies of the poster Cyberbullying: Don't Be a Victim or a Cyberbully for them to post by computers in their classrooms.
Ask parents in your neighborhood to review
Cyberbullying Victim and Offender Warning Signs.
Talk with your children about cyberbullying. Discuss how spreading hurtful comments or pictures can affect another person and how even just visiting a web site that bashes another student gives more power to a bully. Teach your children a rule to remember when using instant messaging, e-mail, or the Internet: If you wouldn't say it to someone's face, don't say it anywhere else. Consider printing the
Internet Use Contract for both you and your children to sign.


A Stone Gatherer said...

That is sad and scary!! Our kids are under such attack! My son is being cyberbullied buty he is being bullied and it breaks my heart! Kids can be so cruel!!

luvmy4sons said...

How horrible. Had never really thought of how bullying would look in today's world. Simply awful! Good info to have!

Michele Williams said...

Thank you for bringing this up... Travis had some cyberbullying done to him as well. Parents need to know about this... Thank you my friend... Love you...

Sandi said...

This has been going on for a long time. It is very hurtful. I do know because my daughter was cyberbullied. Thank you for posting to make other aware.

MyJourneyBack said...

Oh Denise you are so right. I hear about this all the time. We hear about it in the news more often than we should. We should all get together and pray about this hidden evil. It is one of those things that until something really bad happens no one pays attention.
Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I will pray that anyone reading this that has kids who have cell phones or use the computer are aware.
Many Blessings sweetie. thanks so much for writing a Mission Monday post. I wanted to but I stil have this computer and internet problem.
Thanks for always encouraging.

Genejosh said...

good info..i should be aware of this and pray for my siblings

Lisa said...

I am glad to say that our public school has parents sign a permission slip for their kids to go to seminars on all types of bullying. Seminars that the school social worker puts on. I hope more schools do this. Unfortunately, I don't think that will stop some kids, parents need to know what their kids are doing on line.