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‘Zero Tolerance’, that is the policy of the school districts, which stands for absolutely no bullying. A very commendable policy which applies only when it is on the school premises with a visual or written bullying incident. With the advances of technology came its misgivings too, giving birth to the concept of ‘Cyber Bullying’. Texting, email and streaming of unkind words and compromising pictures in a willful manner using any electronic media are its criterion. Could be called ‘e-bulling’, ‘electronic-bulling’, ‘sms-bulling’, ‘digital-bulling’, internet-bulling’ or even ‘online-bulling’.
 
 
Whatever the name, its ultimate goal is always harmful and immoral. The prevalence of social media has aggravated this issue, making it difficult to keep track of such misgivings.
 
With the ongoing case of Tyler Clementi’s suicide case and the accused, his roommate Dharun Ravi, is a hot discussion nationwide. A case, I will not discuss here for two reasons, first it is an open case and secondly the media has done its fair share of dissecting it. There have been many such cases small and big during the recent times, throughout the globe. The huge drawback being, it can be only detected after it is done.


The chats and the data in this website, http://www.cyberbullying.us/research.php, would be enough to make any parent’s heart stop.


Data http://www.statisticbrain.com/bullying-statistics/, suggests, almost 37% of the teenagers are the victims of this onslaught.
Few chit chats with teenagers gave me an insight into their world and their view point. There was a slight difference in opinion within the two sexes. Though they both agree on bullying being a demeaning act, yet they each have a different way of reacting to it. According to the young ladies, the reaction happens quickly; many times blown out of proportion. They feel more frustrated than their male counterparts. Their bullying usually engages in verbal and relationship related bullying, including sending compromising pictures and defaming emails and texts. That ends in quick and in a dramatic fashion. There are few cases of suicide which have happened in the past, for example the cases of Megan Meier (http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/m/megan_me...). On the other hand, boys usually keep the whole thing under wraps until it becomes a real ticking bomb, case in point the ongoing investigation of the Clementi vs Ravi. Research shows, the quality of bullying in male are usually physical; irrespectively both the genders feel sad, embarrassed and depressed.
The scariest part of this is, it can happen to the kids in the elementary schools too. Though it does not have such a high charged intensity as their teenage seniors, but still it is important that the teachers recognize the signs. Teachers in the US are given training to read and pick on those red flags, but their hands are tied, as most of these cases happen off premises from the safety of their homes.
Parents play a very vital role. Many of the parents I talked to could not emphasize more on being alert. That does not mean all parents have to snoop into the emails and chats of their kids. They just need to look out for signs in their children, which are off beat. Keeping the channel of communication open is the most essential factor. There should be an atmosphere of trust and approachability, making it possible for the victim in question to be able to confined their issues and be believed. The Crime Prevention Control has outlined many guidelines for both the youngsters and the adults.
We all need to keep in mind that, it always starts with a nudge, nudge gets to push and finally push gets to shove. This is not a decease it can be prevented with all our effort put together, after all it takes a village to raise a child to become a good human being. ‘

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Every parent's nightmare this

Every parent's nightmare this - bullying. Very real problem that needs to be addressed right away. Great article.

Agreed

Anumita Chatterjee Roy Moon's picture

Thank you..:)

Anumita Chatterjee Roy (Moon)

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