Cyber-bullying: Serious consequences

SCITUATE – People do not understand that cyber-bullying is a serious thing, with serious consequences.

Recently an incident of cyber-bullying occurred in a nearby town. A girl was friends with a boy that lived in a different town. The girl knew the boy had some issues with drugs, family, and friends. She tried to be kind to the boy, who she thought was one of her best friends, and also a former boyfriend. Meanwhile, over the past two months, the boy had been harassing the girl.

Without the girl knowing, he had been trashing her behind her back ever since he met her. He repeatedly wrote mean and hurtful comments on her Facebook posts. Little did she know, he has been writing things about her, publically for the past three months. After discovering these comments that were public, her friends took action on December 3rd, 2010.

Her friends responded to what was being said, with mean comments back to the bully. The fight burst out between both sides, the girl’s friends and the boy’s friends. The girl and her friends received threats from people they had never spoken to before. What people do not know, is the bully wants attention. Her friends most likely regret retaliating, because they have stated they would not retaliate in the future. The harassment got so bad the girl finally decided to tell her parents.

After speaking with the girl and her friends, the parents decided to contact the police. When the police officer arrived at her house, he inter-viewed her, and two other friends. If that boy ever talks trash about the girl again, he will be in a lot of legal trouble. As seen by reactions of bullies and victims, when bullies harass people, it is not to make the people upset. They do it because they think it is funny, and they usually do not mean any harm.

Cyber-bullying started in the early to mid-90’s, when the internet first became popular. On May 3rd, 2010, Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill against bullying, to protect kids in Massachusetts. Bills and laws have been signed in 2009 and 2010. Major consequences, called for in the new law, involve jail time. 21% of kids have received mean or threatening e-mails. 35% of kids have been threatened, and 1 of 5 kids, this has happened two or more times. 9 out of 10 kids have had their feelings hurt online.

Some helpful hints from HotChalk (an online site for tips on school life) Editors, to prevent cyber-bullying are, do not take rude, mean, or hurtful comments personally. Do not respond to the bully. The bully is looking for attention, and wants to see you get hurt. Block the bully, because then they will not be able to see your posts, and you cannot see theirs. Change your number if they are sending you mean things, or calling you. Always tell a trusted adult, or contact the police. Be careful about who you trust, and try to be safe.





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