Cyberbullying

By: Rose DiPaolo

Since the internet was was invented on January 1st, 1983, users have found ways to belittle others online. Adults, both online and off, have attempted to raise awareness against bullying online, typically referred to as ‘cyberbullying’. But is cyberbullying still as big of a problem as many adults think?

“I’m very involved with the kids at Garnet Valley in terms of offering my support to help them with different things.” Said Michael Ricci, Garnet Valley High School teacher/mentor. “I do think that it’s very easy for people to say stuff behind a screen, and I’ve seen, time after time after time, where students have suffered because of it.”

The majority of US States have taken precautionary measures against cyberbullying, including Pennsylvania.

According to PA law, cyberbullying is defined as:

“an intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act, or a series of acts:

   (1)  directed at another student or students;

   (2)  which occurs in a school setting;

   (3)  that is severe, persistent or pervasive; and

   (4)  that has the effect of doing any of the following:

       (i) substantially interfering with a student’s education;

       (ii) creating a threatening environment; or

       (iii) substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school”

Though PA has taken action against cyberbullying, some students don’t believe that cyberbullying is being taken too seriously.

“A lot of times adults kind of ignore stuff but just don’t see what’s going on, and kids don’t admit to what’s going on,” said Daniel Mackenzie, GVHS freshman and internet user.

Some students, however, do not share the same view as Daniel.

“I think that they {adults} tend to blow things out of proportion” said Macallister Kennedy, a GVHS freshman and High School 101 student.

High School 101 Students have recently finished their Unit on Bullying, and Macallister believes the majority of the content on bullying showed during High School 101 is a bit outdated.

“When these videos were made, it was a problem, more than it is now.”

The movie in question, Cyberbully (2011), was shown to all of the High School 101 classes, including Mcallister’s and Dan’s. Cyberbully tells the story of a seventeen-year-old girl named Taylor Hillridge who is the target of online harassment. Students at her high school persistently mock and belittle her on a social media website, causing her to make an attempt at her life.

“I mean, honestly, it’s definitely dramatized quite a bit,” said Macallister, “I don’t see her (the main character) going as far as finding a reason to end her life, because she knows deep in her heart that that’s not true.”

When asked if he believed the movie was accurate, Michael Ricci responded, “I do think the Movie Cyberbully is accurate, and I’ll tell you why. Tina Meyers, who was the consultant for that movie, spent a considerable amount of time going to different schools throughout the country and talking about different scenarios, and used her own daughters situation where she had committed suicide, to gather information and to gather statistical evidence.”

Each student and teacher is entitled to their own opinion, and opinions do vary amongst the different High School 101 classes.

Macallister said, “I think awareness should be raised, but they definitely try to raise too much awareness for it.”

Citations:

Andrews, E.
Andrews, E. (2013). Who invented the internet?. HISTORY. Retrieved 20 December 2018, from https://www.history.com/news/who-invented-the-internet
Cyberbullying (for Parents)
Cyberbullying (for Parents). (2018). Kidshealth.org. Retrieved 20 December 2018, from https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/cyberbullying.html
What Is Cyberbullying. (2012). StopBullying.gov. Retrieved 20 December 2018, from https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/index.html
Laws & Policies. (2012). StopBullying.gov. Retrieved 20 December 2018, from https://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/index.htmlPennsylvania Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies
Pennsylvania Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies. (2012). StopBullying.gov. Retrieved 20 December 2018, from https://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/pennsylvania

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