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Cyberbullying Can Happen to Anyone
November 17th, 2011

Cyberbullying can happen to any child no matter what their social status may be. We came across an article interesting on the Washington Times: NORTHFIELD, Minn., November 15, 2011 — Peter Jacobs was a popular soccer player until he missed a goal and lost the championship game. Cyberbullying started, and he lost his popularity, his girlfriend, and his confidence.

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, (NCPC), 2011, “Cyberbullying is a problem that affects almost half of all American teens.” Online bullying, or Cyberbullying, happens when teens use the Internet, cell phones, or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.

Peter is a fictitious character portrayed in a short video clip about Cyberbullying created by two ninth graders. Peter’s story can be viewed in homes, classrooms, youth groups, and other forums to spark conversation about Cyberbullying and solutions. Youth recently created Video Public Service Announcements (PSA) on Cyberbullying for contests sponsored by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and local groups.  The winning videos made locally, as well as the runner-ups, pack an emotional punch.

The Video PSA’s show stories that include common forms of Cyber Bullying including: (i-SAFE, America, Inc., 2011)

         A threatening e-mail

         Nasty instant messaging session

         Repeated notes sent to the cell phone

         A website set up to mock others

         “Borrowing” someone’s screen name and pretending to be them while posting a                   message.

Cyber bullying Statistics:

Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying.

More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyberthreats online.

Over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet.

Well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyber bullying occurs.

There are steps you and your friends can take to stop Cyberbullying and stay cyber-safe by employing the many different interventions have been done to reduce Cyberbullying. Even some teens themselves have figured out ways to prevent Cyberbullying.

Bullying causes isolation and sadness.

The NCPC suggests following in the footsteps of other quick-thinking teens and

         Refuse to pass along Cyberbullying messages

         Tell friends to stop Cyberbullying

         Block communication with Cyberbullies

         Report Cyberbullying to a trusted adult

Don’t forget that even though you can’t see a Cyberbully or the bully’s victim, Cyberbullying causes real problems. If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online. Delete Cyberbullying. Don’t write it. Don’t forward it.(NCPC), 2011).

Prevention tips to avoid bullies online (i-Safe, 2011)

         Don’t give out private information such as passwords, pins, name, address, phone number, school name, or family and friends’ names. This information can be used by bullies and other harmful people on the Internet. Don’t even reveal your password to your friends. They might reveal it or use it against you in a fight.

         Don’t exchange pictures or give out e-mail addresses to people you meet on the internet. Ask permission from parents when it is necessary to give such information.

         Don’t send a message when you are angry. It’s hard to undo things that are said in anger.

         Delete messages from people you don’t know or those from people who seem angry or mean.

         Realize that online conversations are not private. Others can copy, print, and share what you say or any pictures you send. Be careful!

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