By Bella Foster
In a recent news article, “Two Florida teens were busted for cyberbullying. The two 12-year-olds in Florida were arrested for cyberbullying in connection with the death of a middle-school student, who police say hanged herself two weeks ago” (Daily News, Jan. 23, 2018).
Unfortunately, teens and young adults around the U.S are being cyberbullied everyday. In order to reduce the amount of cyberbullying in the United States, public schools must send emails and texts to parents, reminding them to be aware of what their child is doing online.
To start off, a recent study done by Ask.fm revealed that “80 percent of teenagers post pictures and statuses on social media without giving it a second thought, especially when it comes to status updates, photos, or tweets” (Chandna Pandey, Talk Android, Aug. 27, 2015).
The problem starts here, because people will judge you based on how you appear to them online.
In other words, the cyberbullies look for reasons to pick on people. Due to cyberbullying, teens and young adults are receiving poor grades, drinking, using drugs, dropping out of school, and sometimes even going as far as committing suicide.
Furthermore, “Cyberbullying spreads fast, and that is why parents, adults, and teens need to take control fast. Imagine a classmate posts a photo of themselves online. Someone else makes a mean, mocking comment about it. Soon, that photo has been shared, liked, reposted – even made into a meme. Thousands of people have seen it – even people the target doesn’t know” (“Teens against bullying,” Pacer’s National Bully Prevention Center, 2018).
That’s why cyberbullying can be extra hurtful; it’s public, it spreads quickly, and it’s happening 24/7. This should be taken very seriously because once the cyberbullies know that they have the power, they do not stop. In fact, they gain more confidence, and end up harassing more people.
Unfortunately, when someone is cyberbullied, they do not have the courage to stand up to the bully and sometimes, they don’t even have enough courage to tell their parents. For example, in an interview, a middle school girl explains her experience after she was cyberbullied, “I was too down on myself to even have the courage to confront them. The only other person who knew was my sister and I didn’t ever reveal their identities to her” (“Interview with a Cyberbully Victim,” Google.com).
This proves that people who are cyberbullied can feel defeated and useless.
Fortunately, public schools are always trying to look out for their students, and by emailing and sending texts to parents, they will be showing the parents they care about the wellbeing of all of their students. Also, they will show they want to include all of the parents on situations that their children could be going through. This is an effective call to action because it is a fast form of communication, and it’s an inexpensive plan that could show results immediately.
Although some public schools and parents may argue that emailing and texting about cyberbullying is a waste of time, what they fail to recognize is that these emails and texts could save a student’s life.
They need to realize that the amount of cyberbullying cases could be solved because parents were made aware of what their children were doing online. We are all inundated with information each day; however, information from a school district is delivered to keep the parents in the loop of what their children could be going through.
Seventh grade ELA students in Allie Dennis’ English Language arts class at SMS wrote proposal articles in the form of a opinion editorials. They conducted research on topics of their choice.