Why schools should take a stand against student cyber bullying
Bullying has been an issue in schools for centuries, but a new threat has popped up with the coming of the 21st century-cyber bullying. According to bullyingstatistics.org, over half of adolescents have experienced some form of cyber bullying or have engaged in cyber bullying. Cyber bullying can have lasting effects on its victims, causing them to have lower self esteem and in extreme cases become suicidal.
Cyber bullying is hard to monitor since teenagers these days are practically always tethered to the internet or their phones, but that does not mean it is impossible to prevent it. One major debate is whether schools should take any action to protect students against cyber bullying. Students are supposed to be safe at school, but when the victims of bullying at home have their problems follow them to school, the school should intervene.
The major issue with schools intervening with cyber bullying is the idea that what students post online and text to their friends is their business and considered private. Therefore, the students’ constitutional rights protect them from having their private online engagements read and judged. However, that does not mean the schools should not take any action.
There is a fine line between what the schools should do to intervene and what they are not allowed to. If regular bullying was occurring on campus, witnessed by teachers or other students, it is not questioned whether or not something should be done to stop it. If someone at a High School shouts to insults or demeaning profanities to another student, it would be expected for the school to take a stand against it. Just because this form of bullying happens in textual communication and is not spoken should not make any difference.
How the schools should handle cyber bullying is then the harder issue. How do schools monitor one’s personal phone while at school, and of course anything that happens at home is impossible to track for every student. While many schools already have strict internet blocks on any social media site to try to limit cyber bullying on campus, with the amount of students who have phones that can access the internet on their own (without the school’s provided and protected wifi to get online) as well as the amount of bullying that goes on between text conversations offline, a bigger step needs to be taken.
Exactly how schools should take a stand against cyber bullying is still unknown, but what is known is that the old days of when bullying meant getting shouted at in the hallway, or your books shoved out of your arm, or your face smashed in the toilet, are being put to an end. Bullying is evolving with the times, but it is still leaving the same effects on students as regular bullying does, which means schools should take it just as seriously as regular bullying and work to keep students safe.