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Posts Tagged ‘bullies in school’

Ask.fm and Lesser Known Social Media Portals – Cyber Bullying Havens

Friday, October 18th, 2019

Ask.fm and Lesser Known Social Media Portals – Cyber Bullying Havens

Image Courtesy of sidedooryk.com

Parents of young adults, take heed. Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only places where your kids might be bullied. There exist thousands of other online avenues where people hide under the guise of ‘freedom of speech’ to say inappropriate and terrible things to your children. Take for example Ask.fm.

 

“Wait a minute. Why are you still alive?”

This is just one of the questions posted on the page of 12-year old Rebecca Sedwick, who killed herself last month by jumping from an abandoned cement building in Lakeland, Florida. Other questions included similarly horrible queries within the lines of “Why aren’t you dead?” and even non-questions “Drink bleach and die.”

Ask.fm is a social media site where users receive questions from anonymous people. According to LA Times report, millions of teenagers in the United States use this website to talk about late night parties, school work, and others subjects without parental supervision. Sedwick was tormented by about 15 girls her age on Ask.fm, among other lesser known social media portals.

The easily accessible technology of social media apps and virtually limitless internet connectivity gave way to an environment that thrives on anonymity. “These apps are free, and as a result … you can either go up anonymously or create a fictitious identification, and you can torment other children, and it is frightening to see that occur,” noted Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

 

“Yes ik  I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF [I don’t give a f***]”

This was the exact status message of Guadalupe Shaw, 14 years old, after reports of Rebecca Sedwick committing suicide spread. “She needs more than God, she is disgusting,” said the first comment in Shaw’s status.

Police saw this message as a red flag. Along with 12-year old Katelyn Roman, county police arrested Shaw despite planning to delay any detainments due to the nature of the case and the age of the involved individuals. Sheriff Judd said that Roman and Shaw were the primary harassers.

When asked about the legality of the arrest and the case to be filed against the youngsters, Judd mentioned that although bullying in itself is not a crime, it can be grounds for stalking and aggravated stalking.

“We take bullying and cyber bullying exceptionally serious in this county and always have,” said Judd.

 

“Choose your words carefully.”

This was the advice that most experts in behavioral psychology want parents to instill to their children when dealing with cyber bullying. Because children grew up with technology that was not available back when their parents were growing up, research and coaching are imperative for parents to address the issue. These concepts were said by Dr. Elizabeth Englander from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center on an instructional video found on VerizonWireless’s feature on a familial approach to address cyber bullying.

Part of this research involves being familiar with social networking sites that are overlooked such as the aforementioned Ask.fm, Kik (a smartphone messaging app), and SnapChat.

SnapChat is particularly controversial. Commonly used by adults to hook up by sending ‘pic trading’ or exchanging photos; this app has been the center of the social phenomenon called ‘sexting’. “The biggest part of these sites is parents don’t know about them,” said author of “Wit’s End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out of Control Teen” Sue Scheff.

The lack of initiative from parents to get involved with their children’s internet and social media actions create a difficult situation where harassment is only detected when it’s already too late, Scheff said. “It’s as simple as that. No one really knew a lot about Ask.fm until Rebecca died,” she noted.

Resources are always available online for parents to get the basic concepts of social media. How will you deal with it, if your child experiences cyber bullying?

 

Dennis Redley is an advocate of responsible internet usage. He supports various cyber safety initiatives including Verizon’s online safety campaign and Higher EdTech Asia. He is also an aspiring educator and takes part in counseling students.

 

Victims, Bullies and Bystanders Are Harmed By Violence In Schools

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Victims, Bullies and Bystanders Are Harmed By Violence In Schools

Studies have shown that if those who tend to belittle or pick on others are taught basic communication skills and conflict management when young, lead more successful lives. Many children honestly do not know what is right and what is wrong in relationships. Respect for others must be taught and modeled for  children by caring adults in their lives.

The longer the abuse goes on, the greater the trauma and emotional stress continues not only for the victim, but the bystanders and the bully.

Children need to feel safe in school. They also need to be taught to respect the rights of others. Bullying hurts everyone involved.

Victims of Bullies

If a situation such as this is not recognized and cared for, the bullied child may become extremely depressed, and develop issues which could effect them for the rest of their lives. Low self esteem, distrust, lack of confidence, fear, anger, resentment, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in school, activities, and friends are common results.

Bystander or Witness

Bystanders or a witness to a traumatic event are frequently bothered by nightmares, flashbacks, lack of confidence and feeling ashamed or powerless. This may be a pivotal turning point in their maturity, helping them decide next time they will speak up or get help or the reverse side to make a decision to step away from all confrontations and not get involved at all.

Bully or Bullies

Bullies who get away with traumatizing others, develop a warped sense of justice. They begin to feel invincible and that they can use violence to get what they want in life. Without intervention, they may very well think it is normal to cross personal boundaries to harm others and to feel “entitled” to be mean to others.

Bullies do not outgrow the tendency to bully.  They simply grow bigger and learn to do it in more subtle ways.  They become the abusive husband, boss or neighbor.  It is a service to them and the people in their lives, to teach them respect and tolerance.

Bullying  Programs in Schools

Teachers should work to know each of their students and recognize any unusual symptoms or behaviors. Likewise, students should be educated on the matter of bullying and encouraged to seek the help of an adult when it is going one. There are usually many bystanders when one is being bullied, and if those bystanders could gather up the courage to take a stand, they could easily overrun the bullies in sheer numbers. Children need to be taught that bullying is essentially a whole school problem, and they need to take it seriously.

You will want to claim your free report at http://www.TheLeftOutChild.com

Please leave comments and share your thoughts below.  I care about you and the children you work with.

PS: Don’t forget Judy H Wright is available for keynote speeches. Recommend her to your program director.  You will be glad you did. Phone 406-549-9813 today.

PS: Connect with me on Twitter  http://www.Twitter.com/bullyadvocate

Bullies in School, Neighborhood and Work Place

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Welcome to our community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all.

Bullying can inflict physical and emotional harm to the victims or targets who did nothing to deserve the demeaning behavior. Bullying by direct or indirect methods can bring social embarrassment, humiliation and social isolation.

Being a Target of a Bully

Being a victim or target of a playground, workplace or neighborhood bully can have harmful consequences which can impact people seriously for the the rest of their lives. Knowing that they may be attacked or singled out for harassment, many victims become isolated and preoccupied with the task of avoiding situations where they will be open to the bully.

There are two types of targets that bullies look for:

  1. Passive victims.  Passive victims tend to be either physically weaker, equipped with fewer social skills and have less of a support group.  This group tends to be more anxious and turned inward, both mentally and with body language. Bullies tend to justify picking on the passive victim because they feel they will not be caught and that “They deserved it because they were trying to hide.”  An example of this in the workplace could be a manager  stealing the work of a co-worker and putting his/her name on it. Thus taking credit knowing that they will get away with it because of the unequal division of power.
  2. Provocative victims. These are the people who are in the spotlight and the bully wants to “Take them down a peg or two.” Provocative targets may be those who have poor social skills and impulse control and so tend to irritate or annoy others with their behaviors.  Bullies tend to find pleasure in provoking situations which will cast the target in a bad light. An example of this is a neighbor who starts rumors about a home owner who has the biggest display of lawn ornaments.

Bullying is About Power

In a conflict, both sides have equal power to resolve the problem.  Bullying is an intentional, one-sided use of power and mean spirit to control another.   If you or a friend feels that you are the target or victim of either a person or group, then please do not feel ashamed or that you did anything to bring on that kind of trauma.  Bullies are bullies, whether they are on school grounds, work places or in our neighborhoods.  They are looking for victims.  If you were not there, they would find someone else.

The bully is the problem not you.  It is not your fault.

Empower yourself and others.  I have confidence in you.

Wishing you a life filled with kindness and respect,

Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and speaker

2400 West Central, Missoula, MT 59801  USA

Connect on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/judyhwright