March 6, 2013
Cyberbullying Must Stop
It is rough being a kid, especially a teenager. With a changing body, raging hormones, and angst, those teen years can really affect one’s psyche; on top of all that comes bullying. Bullying is one of the worst things about being a teenager. It affects every aspect of life from self-worth to desire to learn to simply just feeling comfortable and all things in between. When students are bullied, they feel lost.
And now bullying has moved from just face-to-face in between classes to the internet. Cyberbullying can happen anytime on many different social sites. Cyberbullying can happen through email or text. It is becoming more and more pervasive. CNN recently discussed the issues related to cyberbullying from the consequences to actions of prevention.
The article began with a victim’s story.
“Brandon Turley didn’t have friends in sixth grade. He would often eat alone at lunch, having recently switched to his school without knowing anyone. While browsing MySpace one day, he saw that someone from school had posted a bulletin — a message visible to multiple people — declaring that Turley was a ‘fag.’ Students he had never even spoken with wrote on it, too, saying they agreed.”
CNN continued Turley’s story:
“Feeling confused and upset, Turley wrote in the comments, too, asking why his classmates would say that. The response was even worse. He was told on MySpace that a group of 12 kids wanted to beat him up, that he should stop going to school and die. On his walk from his locker to the school office to report what was happening, students yelled things like ‘fag’ and ‘fatty.’”
As I read about Turley’s experience, I felt my heart tighten and my stomach turn. Few actions anger me more than bullying whether it be kids bullying each other or adults doing the bullying. The way that bullies try to manipulate their victims hurts and angers me. I do not understand why Brandon Turley had to experience what he did on MySpace nor do I understand what would possess his bully to be so cruel.
The cruelty of bullying is something I will never understand. So what if Turley was gay; why would that warrant such a cruel post? He is not as far as the CNN article explained, but to be bullied by people he didn’t even know is unacceptable no matter how or why he was bullied. Furthermore, Turley’s bully was not just focusing his bullying on Turley, but on all gay people. By using the slur he did about Turley, his implication is that it is bad, wrong, evil, or otherwise not “normal.” Who is this bully to make that decision? What gives him such a right?
Bullying is a serious problem. Many people suffer for years because they were bullied. Some people even take the extreme measure of committing suicide or otherwise harming themselves because they were bullied. We must do something about this.
CNN explained some very plausible actions. First of all, we must report bullying, all of it, including cyberbullying. We cannot sit idly by and let it go. We also must speak out. Through websites like WeStopHate.org and MTV-partnered website A Thin Line, people can post their stories and connect with others to help stop bullying in all its forms. Parental controls can help teenagers to avoid bullying. Adults, of course, do not have this option; however, Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists are working on apps and programs to help all from being bullied and from bullying. Together, we must work to prevent bullying from ever happening. We must stop it because it harms all involved.
Image Credit: Photos.com