Cyberbullying: How Can I Help?

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Bullying can be described as repeated harmful events, which over time are directed at usual persons that are carried out by one or several other people. These are people who may be stronger than the victim. These harmful events can be aggressive physical contact in the form of fights and shoving, and verbal threats.

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Behaviors of a bully will consist of actions such as hitting, kicking, pushing, teasing, or threatening an individual, also bullying can be relational social segregation, harming friendships, spreading rumors, although physical bullying cannot happen using technology, both verbal and relational bullying can be accomplished using a variety of technological tools. Bullying is a national problem that affects people from everywhere around the world. Bullying involves emotional and physical intimidation that is caused by another party. With the rapid increase in electronic or online communication, bullying is no longer limited to schools; virtual reality has been implicated as a new risky environment for bullying.

Cyber bullying is a form of bullying that is done through electronic devices. The internet has been a very common place for bulling to occur. In a previous paper I wrote I stated, “Cyber bullying occurs when children get on the internet and post thing about another child. This can be on social media and other internet sources. This one is big to me because things that are posted on the internet can be viewed by a large range of individuals. It is also hard to get the things deleted once it Is shared. Children who are bullied sustain some sort of injury. The injury maybe internal or external. They also may fear telling anyone because of what may happen. Some children who experience this may become depressed, and others think about harming their selves or others.”

When we speak of cyber bullying and it affects, we must also include ways to counsel, prevent, and build a trusting relationship with each victim. Trust is very important to individuals who experience such torment. Trust and understanding goes a long way. Schools are over populated, and parents are either too busy or nonexistent, forcing kids to feel alone. Most children who cyber bully are also dealing with issues that no one pays attention to. The victim is both parties rather we want to accept it or not. “A current problem and concept, cyber-victimization, is defined as the situation in which one or more individuals are exposed to harmful behavior personally or individuals experience it as legal entity through communication technologies (Ar?cak, 2011). Cyber bullying; by a group or individual, with computer or mobile phone, etc. is defined as an aggressive, intentional harmful behavior carried out by means of communication (Smith et al. 2008).

Cyber bullying or cyber victimization can be seen in various forms. Some of those; online fighting, harmful activities, libel, identity change, unauthorized use of information, provocation, cyber harassment and exclusion (Willard, 2007). Unlike real victimization and bullying, there is no physical interaction between the cyber victim and the cyber bully. In this regard, cyber victimization and bullying have become an international problem (Antoniadou & Kokkinos, 2015; Ayas & Horzum, 2012; Bhat, 2008; Boronenko, Menshikov & Marzano, 2013; Keith & Martin, 2005).

The impact of cyber bullying on the victim can be more damaging for a few reasons. The first one can be more damaging than the attacker that keeps his identity hidden. Second, because there is no direct relationship with the victim, the attacker may tend to feel less empathy or regret. Third, Mass media can reach a large audience in a short time. Finally, adult control is limited because the number of adults using the internet is less (Dempsey, Sulkowski, Nichols & Storch, 2009; Kokkinos, Antoniadou & Markos, 2014; Smith & Slonje, 2010)”.

I mentor children who has lost a parent rather its by violence, sickness or due to their own selfish reasons. My children I mentor trust me and I do everything in my power to ensure them that they are loved. As I was sitting in my office, I received a call from a young girl who was referred to me by another child I mentor. She stated she has been dealing with bullying for a long time and today she feels like she does not want to live anymore. Hearing this made my heart drop. This student was only eleven and was forced to feel like the world was to much for her to deal with. I told her I would love to talk to her and help her deal with what she is feeling. I told her I would come to the school if she would like and talk to her outside of school. She asked can we meet outside of school first I said yes and told her to give me the number to her parents. I told her I will get their permission and asked would it be a problem. She said no. I told her I will see her shortly. I called her parents to inform them I was a mentor for their daughter and asked if it would be ok if I meet with their daughter today. They agreed. Later I meet with the student and took her out to an ice-cream parlor. I told her whenever she was ready, I’m here to listen. She begins telling me what she has been going through.

When she arrived at school everyone stood around laughing and pointing at her. Unaware as to what was going on, she ran to the bathroom crying. Her friend which is also my mentee found her and told her what was gong on. She told her that there is a picture that was posted on social media comparing her face to that of a toad. Due to her acne she was picked on a lot. The friend then said the picture was shares all over Facebook and text messages. Someone made copies of the picture and also posted it in school. she cried more and told her friend she wishes she can die, that way she will stop being picked on. Her friend cried with her and asked he would she try and talk to someone. She then said that no one ever does anything so killing her self will solve the problem for her. Her friend then told her about me and begged her to try and talk to me. She agreed and called. After she told me everything, I asked what it was that she feels should be done. She said she just wants it to stop, she wants to be able to live life without the fear of being on. It was not her fault her acne was bad, but it makes her feel like she was very ugly. Heartbroken I looked at her and cried. I begin to give her a little about myself. I assured her that I will do everything in my power to help you deal with everything. She asked me why to do I care so much that I will be willing to help her. I simply told her because I am you. My job is to make sure children never feel unloved. If I can show children that even when you feel like no one understands and love seems to be distant god will always make it better. She said her parents are always to busy for her to talk to.

The next day I got I went straight to the school. I talked to teachers’ principals and counselors. Everyone seemed to be surprised. That was an issue. I walked in the school and saw a picture on the floor. How is it that they can say they had no knowledge? I showed them the picture and asked did they see this? They stated yes but they assumed it was a joke. With fury in my eyes I respectfully said how do you consider this a joke, this is total torment and bullying. Did you know it was also posted on social media? Did you ever pulled the girl to the side and ask how she feels about it? Their answer was no they have such a big case load that they didn’t think that it was serious. I informed them they can either investigate it thoroughly, and deal with it properly, or I can have people come in and deal with it, and that the choice was theirs.

Some people would stop there and assume their job was done, but I did not. See there is a greater purpose to this journey and she needed to be understood. I meet with her three times a week after school. She opened more and let me in. She said can feel love and can talk to me about anything. Her thoughts of suicide no longer existed. She knows she is beautiful, and hand made by god.

We talked about ways to stop bullying. If more parents are active in their children’s life bullying can be reduced. At eleven years old why is a phone or social media a possession. I understand a child having a phone because it helps with their safety, but internet should not be accessible. Phones should only be allowed before school and after. Restrictions need to be placed on children’s phones and computers. We should make the counseling of parents and children a high priority. School counselors should be more open to asking if the student is doing ok and if anything is bothering them. She said schools also need to step up. Most bullying happens because the schools don’t care enough to deal with it. If strict actions are being made to those who participate in bulling it may also be reduce. It takes a team to make these revision and put the action in place. Action means change.

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