Bullying now a serious issue.

After the cyber bully sparked suicides of Megan Meier and Phoebe Prince, it seems that the media and schools alike are finally starting to take harassment seriously, or it’s at least being recognized as it should.

Yahoo recently reported on a study about why certain kids are picked on, and Phoebe Prince’s suicide resulted in a call for the school administration’s resignation.

I’d like to conclude that technology is the reason why so everyone is more aware of teasing and harassment. As someone who was relentlessly bullied in junior high, I know that schools have been known to take a blind eye to bullying, and I never appreciated such apathy. Though I was harassed via AOL Instant Messenger in 8th grade, I am old and privileged enough to have basically missed the age of cyber bullying, which is pervasive for today’s junior high and high school students.

Cyber bullying has shown adults that teasing is a serious issue. With cyber harassment, bullies are now able to menace their victims 24/7. Students cannot go home and feel relieved to be away from their tormentors. There’s no longer a safe haven for the bullied, so of course they’re going to turn to suicide and other drastic measures.

I’m hoping that this semi-new phenomenon will influence school officials to enforce harsher punishment on mean kids. These harassers have been getting away with this unacceptable behavior for far too long, and they’ve destroyed self esteems, lives, and futures for the innocent. It’s time that they finally learn that mistreating others is not okay and will not be tolerated.

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4 thoughts on “Bullying now a serious issue.

  1. Phoebe Prince faced real life and cyber bullying. That much is fairly certain. And it’s fairly certain that her name was trashed even after she died. People in South Hadley know who the bullies are. The bullies have not hidden their identities nor shut their mouths nor turned off their little electronic devices.

    So here’s my question… where are the parents now that the actions of those little s&%ts are known? Why do those girls still have their devices? Are the parents not paying attention or they not believe that their little cretins are in fact little cretins?

    1. Yeah, people know who these bullies were/are.

      The parents probably don’t want to believe that their children are evil enough to tell a girl to go kill herself. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if my own child behaved this way. It probably has more to do with denial than anything, but I also imagine the parents think the situation was exaggerated, and they probably love to assure themselves that the problem was Phoebe and not their family.

  2. Where is the line between free speech and harassment? Should we be held accountable for people’s personal actions (suicide) based on our words alone? What kind of slippery slope does this create? How will this affect artists? musicians? the media?

    1. I don’t think we can be held FULLY accountable for other people’s personal actions (such as suicide, shootings etc) based on our words alone. Our behavior can drive other people to act a certain way, but at the end of the day, they are the ones who decided to do certain things.

      The constant harassment definitely led Phoebe Prince to kill herself, but as I said in my column, she must have had internal turmoil to ultimately make her do what she did. The teasing inevitably led her to surrender and give up.

      It would be crazy to not hold these harassers at least a little bit responsible for what happened. What they said borders on shouting about a false fire to a bunch of people. It’s unacceptable, and this behavior should have consequences.

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