My Quest To Teach

July 2, 2013

Parents Can Prevent Bullying and Cyberbullying

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 5:55 am

Parents Can Prevent Bullying and Cyberbullying

As millions of students across the country are being
released for summer vacation the opportunities for
Bullying and Cyberbullying increases.
The dynamics of the family structure are changing,
parents are working either a full time job, longer hours
at work, a full time and part time job. These hours
away from children are times where there is a lack of
parental guidance and monitoring. This opens doors
for the use and abuse of Social Media platforms by
youth, teens and young adults.

Many school age youth are using more Social Media
tools to stay in contact with friends, to stay connected.
Children are very social creatures and interactive in their
sharing of personal information.
Being “Social Creatures” is not a new thing: humans are
the most social creatures on Earth. Writings from Leakey,
(1978) have stated that, “The emerging human mind now
evolved to fit its cultural niche, to survive as a social
creature.” Technology contributes to these social interactions
and parents must monitor their children.
The chances for Bullying are not diminished over summer
break, in fact they can actually grow because many
students have their own Smart phones, tablets, hand-held
devices that connect to the Internet, even video gaming
platforms connect to Social Media sites and parents are not
readily available to provide guidance and monitoring.
Univ. of North Florida psychologist Dr. Lauren Yerkes
says bullying cases went up about 5 percent last year.
Several students reportedly attempted and committed
suicide because of alleged Bullying.

The seriousness of Cyberbullying nationwide can be seen
in the growing numbers of youth and teens attempting and
committing suicide because of constant taunting,
harassment and demeaning character destruction.
When youth and teens feel isolated, rejected and turned
away it derails the emotional and psychological stability
of the mind. Young people are social creatures, their lives
are built around their friends and activities that provide a
foundation of social growth, social interactivity and
establishes a “place of existence” in life.
Recent studies like: “Social Animals: Who’s Sharing
What and Why Online?” have shown that “It’s becoming
a form of seamless integration with users’ lives; it’s always
with them.” Cate Riegner, Vice President of Brand Insights
and co-founder of Netpop Research.

Technology is not just made of electronic connections; it has
an overwhelming human and personal connectivity. That
connectivity can be seen as positive in nature or have
destructive consequences. Florida Governor Rick Scott
addressed several issues related to schools. Bills take on
Cyber-bullying, the expansion of its definition, House Bill
609 expands the schools authority on how to take action
for Cyber-bullying, expanding the definition of bullying
and harassment. There are many perceptions of Bullying
and Cyberbullying, consistant definitions are important
to address how to deal with issues at school and in the
community.
Students are spontaneous and when they put things on
Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr in many cases it is a spur
of the moment impulse. If there are high emotions from
anger and embarrassment there could be threats from
physical harm to emotional harm. These new laws help to
regulate the more serious aspects of digital
Bullying/Cyberbullying. The actions of Bullying
create a distraction at schools that affect the learning
environment. Resulting in actions that may transition to
physical violence and emotional conflict. In recent
extreme Bullying cases violence is happening, resulting
in hospitalizations and court actions as is being seen in
Jacksonville, Florida, Chicago, Detroit and other cities
that have Bullying cases, this is a national issue.
The upcoming school year will see an increase
in students using online resources. Students will have
additional access to school networks either traditional or
wireless. Schools are allowing BYOD Bring Your Own
Device to schools so teachers must be more aware of
potential Cyberbullying.
In too many cases parents either do not know what their
children are doing or how to find out. Parents must
be proactive and involved when their children are using
online resources. There is not just Cyberbullying,
but CyberPorn, CyberRacism, CyberStalking and other
activities dangerous to youth and teens. Even the
growing case of human trafficking where Social Media
is used to lure girls and boys into the world of child
pornography as sex slaves.

Cyberbullying (HB 609): will expand the influence of Florida’s
public schools to investigate and discipline students for
Cyberbullying conducted through the use of a school
computer. Further actions through the assistance of law
enforcement can be conducted when a student is
Cyberbullying from home. The Florida legislation
defines “Cyberbullying” as harassment through the use of
computers, technology or electronic communications.

Family foundations are built on parental responsibility and
accountability, to have parents monitor, question, investigate
and in extreme cases turn off or deny the use of electronic
devices if the parent/child trust has been violated.
In a recent workshop for Journey Into Womenhood (JIW)
students conducted skits concerning Bullying actions,
reactions, preventions and avoiding physical threats.
In these young ladies early lives they have been Bullied,
harassed, Cyberbullied and threatened. Recent violent
cases of Bullying need to be studied and measures created
to prevent these continuous actions. One case has
legal and ethical consideration. This will change the
dynamics of treatment for those being bullied and
those doing the bullying.
Statements from teens claiming “I got bullied to the
point I could not handle it anymore.” Students being told
by administrators “I can’t do anything,” run the risk of
more attempted suicides, the potential of students carry
weapons because they are fearful for their safety.
Proaction is better than no action, in too many cases the
resulting violence that happens is from youth, teens and
young adults being Bullied to the point where they feel
helpless and powerless.
The end results could be deadly for students, teachers
and administrators in schools across this country.

Resources:
Paris Cannon Fighting “A Serial Bully”
http://www.news4jax.com/news/new-fight-video-of-serial-bully-surfaces/-/475880/20363210/-/al9jfj/-/index.html
Is your daughter a Bully
http://www.news4jax.com/news/warning-signs-your-daughter-could-be-a-bully/-/475880/20035684/-/2q6cde/-/index.html

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