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Cyber Bullying Essay

1348 words - 6 pages

Cyber Bullying: Negative Consequence

Bullying is not new to the school campus; what is new is the independent access that young people of all ages have to the internet and various social media sites. Cyberbullying behavior should not simply be considered an inevitable part of school life and dismissed as a natural consequence of being a teenager. With little supervision, students are engaging in cyberbullying behaviors that are hostile; placing both the cyberbullying victim and the cyberbullying harasser at risk for negative social-emotional and academic consequences.

Cyberbullying is the one of the latest issues to be defined by school districts and law enforcement. The ...view middle of the document...

” (Gholamhosseini 1) Specifically, Orinas’ research has demonstrated a slow increase among teenagers to use social media sites to “threaten, harass, or embarrass.” (1) The findings of Dr. Orinas are consistent with what popular media has portrayed; specifically, that student access to technology has increased the rate of cyberbullying.

Shaheen Shariff is an Associate Professor at McGill University in Canada. Dr. Shariff is an expert on the legal issues that have arisen due to on-line social communications and cyberbullying. In 2005 she conducted a survey with 3,700 middle school students in the United States. Her research determined that “18% experienced cyber-bullying.” (Shariff 459) More specifically, “one in every seventeen children is threatened on the Internet; and one in four youth aged 11 -19 is threatened via computer or cell phone.” (459) Dr. Shariff has identified a large number of at-risk youngsters.

Dr. Shariff’s statistics are consistent with the 2010 National Center for Education Statistics findings that 20 percent of students “had been involved in the cyberbullying of other youths.” (Stuart-Cassel, Bell, and Springer 19-21) Dr. Shariff’s findings, coupled with 2010 statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics suggest that approximately 20% of the student population are victims of cyberbully and another 20% of the student population are cyberbullies. Collectively, the research suggests that an alarming 40% of students are involved in cyberbully thereby placing themselves at risk for negative social-emotional and academic consequences.

The United States Department of Education initiated a widespread study across the United States to determine how effective anti-bullying school policies and state laws were in school districts. The study was completed in 2011 and as part of that study; researchers identified a pattern of long-term consequences for both the cyberbully victim and the cyberbully including “negative socio-emotional, health, and academic outcomes.” (Stuart-Cassel, Bell, and Springer 19-21) Their research indicated that students identified as bullying perpetrators had “higher substance use rates, poorer social skills, greater mental health problems, and exhibit increased aggressive-impulsive behaviors as adults.” (19-21) For example, the study found “that 60 percent of boys who bullied in middle school and high school had been convicted of one or more crimes before they reached the age of 25, and 40 percent of those had three or more convictions.” (19-21) They further noted that those students who are repeatedly bullied “perform at lower academic rates, and display higher rates of truancy and disciplinary problems.” (19-21) A review of this research indicated that both sets of students; the cyber bully and the cyberbully victim, are at greater risk for both academic and interpersonal failure than their classmates
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