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Opinion and Editorial

Cyberbullying Must Cease!

When people think of bullying, they usually imagine a tall, scrappy, fat kid who takes lunch money and shoves scrawny little kids into lockers.  In this generation, bullying has escalated into secretly videotaping men engaging in homosexual acts, which was then posted onto the Internet where millions of viewers could watch.  As a result of this immature act, Tyler Clementi a freshman at Rutgers University, an amazing son, friend, and an extremely talented violinist took his own life.  Bullying can cause serious consequences, and it takes a careless, juvenile person, not to realize that.  Has the world we live in put aside morals and values for a few laughs?  Have people forgotten the damage bullying has on others?

If our society continues to let people harass others and are still found innocent for their actions, then as a society we are one scrawny little kid being shoved into a locker of denial.  Sooner or later it will catch up to us, we won’t be able to breath, or escape, we will all be screaming for help but no one will hear us.  Bullying will become the ruler and we are nothing more than the gum on its shoe.  As a society, we have done this to ourselves.  We let cyberbullying be under minded and pushed to the side, never once have we taken it seriously.  A young boy committed suicide, he took his own life.  Don’t you think it is time to take a step back and look at the big picture?  Maybe if we did Tyler Clementi would still be alive today and his family wouldn’t be going through such a terrible loss.  Maybe if we did teenagers such as Rachael Neblett and Ryan Halligan would just be starting high school, not in the obituary section of a local newspaper.  Bullying needs to stop, and it starts with you.

Cyberbullying is hitting colleges and high schools, but most of the problems start within the middle schools.  When kids reach their teenage years something inside of them changes.  The way they act, feel and behave take a 180 degrees turn for the worst.  Most of them become rude and disrespectful because they create this idea that they rule the world and don’t have to listen to authority.  When kids get that image in their head, it is game over for the rest of us.  Cyberbullying is becoming a problem because parents, teachers and friends are not taking the necessary steps to make it stop.

In order for this problem to be solved, school districts need to start taking responsible for these actions.  Just because it is on the Internet and off school property does not mean it is none of their concern.  If cyberbullying is affecting a student’s life, they should be absolutely alarmed for the safety and well-being of the student.

Another culprit of cyberbullying is the parents.  For some reason parents in this day in age think their kids are all angels.  Any parent I have ever talked to has no idea about their child’s life but proceeds to tell me how well behaved they are.  Most parents are not even aware of Facebook or instant messaging; and if they have never heard of it, they have no idea who their children are talking to.  How can you inform your child on something you know nothing about?  Have people forgotten how dangerous the Internet can be?  Parents always tell their kids, don’t talk to strangers.  How freaked out would parents be if I said that strangers are not in the streets but in their own homes every day, on the computer?  Anyone can make up a fake screen name or Facebook and pretend to be anyone they want to be.  Is this what you want your kids exposed to?

Don’t get me wrong, the Internet can be a great tool if used correctly, but when people post hurtful comments and cruel remarks about a person it can hurt more than a punch in the face.  Just because the pain isn’t visible doesn’t mean it is not there. The effects of cyberbullying are not limited to hurting feelings; it can be much deeper.  Cyberbullying is not fighting with your fists but with a keyboard.  You can’t see a black eye because there was no physical contact, you can’t see a bloody lip because no one was hit.  All the abuse remains hidden on the inside.  Cyberbullying is a problem and it needs to be addressed.  Just because you can’t see the pain, doesn’t mean people don’t feel it.

The best thing you can do is get involved.  Parents, teachers and friends should start asking questions and doing their own research on cyberbullying.  We need to stop this progression before it gets worse; because if we don’t, people like Tyler Clementi will lose their lives due to acts that could have been prevented if people cared more.  No one deserves to go through the loss of a loved, cyberbullying needs to stop, and it starts with you.


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