In the past the school bully was someone that pushed kids around or knocked books out of their hands. Today however, school bullying has taken a whole new form. Because of the evolution of smart phones and social media the common bully now harasses other students electronically. What once required face to face interaction can now be done behind a screen. These kinds of bullies are called cyberbullies and they are affecting a large portion of today’s children. Cyberbullying has become such a huge problem that frustrated parents everywhere are demanding change. These families are now working together to raise awareness on cyberbullying and to eventually put a stop to it.
Who Should Be Held Responsible for Cyberbullying?
Victims of cyberbullying are sometimes left with thoughts of suicide or self-harm. This was unfortuently the case for a Copeland Middle School girl. This New Jersey resident was only 12-years olf when she was exposed to cyberbullies online. The former gymnast and cheerleader started receiving disturbing text messages and social media posts from other kids at schhol. After receiving these threatening messages the girl’s disposition changed. Her grades started to slip and she started to claim she was having stomach pains and headaches to avoid going to school. Her parents confronted school officials on several occasions, but they claim they were never taken seriously. After one such meeting, the 12-year-old committed suicide.
The parents of this 12-year-old have decided to take legal steps to get justice for their daughter. . They have sent the Rockaway Township School District notice of their intent to sue the district for negligence. They are also considering filing suits against the alleged bullies who they claim tortured their daughter. Considering that New Jersey has strong anti-bullying policies, this may only be the beginning of the journey for these parents.
This has been a disturbing and growing trend all over the country, and it has many parents and advocates wondering what can be done. Similarly to the previous case another occasion of cyberbullying was taken to court. In Massachusetts, a woman was just convicted of involuntary manslaughter after sending texts encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide. The boyfriend later went on to take his life. The women is now facing jailtime and a civil lawsuit filed by the parents of her former boyfriend.