Anyone who has ever gone to school, had a child in a school, or who has taught in any grade from Nursery on up, knows about the reality of bullying. Here in Clark County, many schools have adapted a “zero tolerance” rule regarding bullying, and all I can say is “Thank you – it’s about time!”
I remember being harassed by the tough kids when I went to an intercity school in a really nice area of my town. Sure, it was core, working class, but our school was also extremely strict and bullying wasn’t tolerated. That didn’t mean, however, that the wild bunch didn’t follow you to the local convenience school teasing you, or that you didn’t feel watched every time you walked down the street. I suppose this is why I can empathize with children being bullied today! Thank goodness I was a pretty tough little girl, and I even managed to get some respect from the bullies. Not every child is so lucky. I could at least face my foes and challenge them to their face.
Now kids aren’t even safe from harassment when they use the computer! Nasty notes and even slanderous comments are being posted on blogs and websites, and as quickly as the websites are taken down, or the students participating are reprimanded, new websites open.
Our local news team, KTNV, wrote about this problem in a recent article. According to them. “Clark County school officials say they have a zero tolerance for cyber bullying. And they didn’t hesitate to suspend a group of students who admitted to posting negative and even slanderous comments about some classmates on a controversial website. Students around the valley had left comments on the site, but when Green Valley High School’s principal found out about it, he took quick action on finding out who was involved.”
Apparently anyone could post anonymously on the website in question (and one previously taken down) without consequence. While this activity isn’t criminal according to the school police, and nothing threatening was found, the actions did violate the cyber bullying law. Individual principals can use their own discretion as to the form of punishment for students breaking this law. Green Valley’s principal chose suspension, hoping that this would make students think twice about their online activity. When Principal Jeff Horn warned that anyone bullying a student would be suspended, eight teens came forward. Good job, Principal Horn. It’s about time an administrator stepped forward!
What is Cyber-bullying?
“Cyber-bullying” is when a child, preteen or teen in tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It has to be a minor on both sides, or at least have been instigated by a minor against another minor. Once adults become involved, it’s plain and simple cyber-harassment or cyber-stalking. Adult cyber-harassment or cyber-stalking is never called cyber-bullying.”
Please click on the above link if you have interest in this subject, or if you suspect a minor you know is either being tormented or is harassing others. It’s a solid article, and will give you further understanding on this subject. Please do not hesitate to report incidents to school authorities, and encourage your school to teach cyber-ethics as part of their curriculum.