Bullying Without a Face This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

October 31, 2012
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Many people don’t think that words can hurt but they’re wrong. Sometimes words hurt a lot more than people think. Many people think that by saying harsh comments behind a screen is harmless and not as bad as saying the same words to them in person. But in reality those hurts the same and affects the victim the same way. Cyber bullying is a common form of bullying that kids now use to try to be anonymous so they don’t get in trouble. But they still can get in trouble and have consequences in the long run. Schools need to crack down on cyber bullying to help kids stay safe inside of school and outside.
Cyber bullying is a form of bullying in which people use technology like cell phones and the internet to harass others. Cyber bullying is one of the most common forms of bullying. It’s common because kids are behind a computer screen or their phones when saying hurtful things to others so they don’t see the reactions of their victims. There are so many ways that people can become victims of cyber bullying through malicious text messages/emails, rumors posted on a social media site or being harassed with pictures, videos, and by fake profiles people created. Studies have found that once a kid has been bullied online, they are also bullied in person because it very hard to get away from their bully. Cell phones are a big factor in cyber bullying because more than 84% of teens these days have one, making it easier for them to send rumors and pictures quickly to large amounts of people. The reason cyber bullying is so different and difficult to get away from is that it can happen every day all the time. The messages bullies post most of the time are anonymous and it’s hard to track it down the main source who posted it because large amounts of people resend it. Deleting pictures or harassing messages is hard because it’s always going to be out on the internet after being posted. Cyber bullying is a harsh, reoccurring cycle victims never seem to escape.

The effects of being bullied can be long lasting and very bad, depending on the damage. Some effects are skipping school, depression, low self- esteem, use of drugs and alcohol, anxiety, and sometimes when the bullying gets too bad for the victim to handle they commit suicide. Cyber bullying has a great impact on the victim, especially if they’re face to face with their bully. When they return home they are still bullied because although they aren't seeing their bully face to face anymore they have the internet in which they are harassed by another person or groups of people. Another damaging effect caused by cyber bullying is that it may never disappear. It may go away for a while but reappear at a later time and spark the bullying all over again so that the victim never escapes the bully or bullies. The bullies think that making someone feel so bad is all fun and games but in reality it has bad consequences for them too. It affects them because they may not a get accepted into college, get a job, lose their cell phones and electronics, lose their online accounts, and have legal charges brought upon them. Bullying affects both the victim and bully but the victim has more mental affects that can last their whole lives.

According to the statistics of I-safe Foundation, more than half of young adults have reported being bullied online and also the same numbers of people have reported to have bullied someone online. Twenty five percent of people have been repeatedly bullied through electronic devices. A little over fifty percent of people that are bullied online never tell their parents. The Harford County Examiner did a survey of teens and found out that one in ten people tell their parents about them getting bullied. Less than one in five victims reported these bullying incidents to the police or school. They found that girls are more likely than boys to be involved in cyber bullying.

In recent years, laws and punishments have been set to secure the safety of the victim but still cyber bullying occurs. The first charge you could get if found guilty of bullying someone is jail time less than five years in state prison or less than two and a half years in a house of correction; it depends on the severity of the case and if the person being accused of prior charges upon them. The person could also be fined less than one thousand dollars and also the victim could file a restraining order on the person. If the person being convicted of these charges commits the crimes again, they will be sent straight to jail. The school guidelines for when a student is accused of bullying another are to either to have counseling, suspension, or seek legal action. The Wilmington High School guidelines state that a person found guilty of bullying could face suspension or expulsion and employees who do not report bullying has been going on then they will be immediately fired. Wilmington High School’s policy is very good about handling these situations.
However, I don’t think that other schools take enough action to take notice of cyber bullying. They may have polices and say that when bullying problems occur that will take action but it’s a different thing between saying it and doing it. For example, Ty Field- Smalley was bullied in school and it became so unbearable for him to handle that he took him own life. Ty’s parents were always going to the school reporting their son’s bullying but nothing was done. When Ty defended himself from the bullies, he was suspended from school which completely destroyed him even more. In these cases, I believe that the school administrative should go in front of the school board and be replaced because they are not helping the kids in those situations and it’s their job to do so. If someone reports to having been bullied or is still being bullied at school, school administration should suspense the bully and call the police for legal assists. No one should feel bullied where they feel unsafe and uncomfortable especially in their own house. Your home is supposed to be where you are safe and have no worries in the world. People need to take stand to help make these kids who are bullied feel safe so they do not live in fear.

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