I, too, am climbing aboard the cyberbullying bandwagon. As a teacher, I have seen numerous examples of bullying, and like most people, I experienced lots of discrimination of my own in school. People have always “attacked” others to justify their own greatness. I do not condone this norm, but the internet has magnified the problem – has created a two-headed monster. It allows people to place hurtful words and images before a captive audience sitting at their keyboards. No longer are we living with the school bully who torments a child with name calling. Now, that school bully can silently attack his victim, with little recourse available. I pray that the government attaches language to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which will give teachers and schools some leverage in stopping these actions.
Meanwhile, as educators and parents we need to look for signs of depression, withdrawal, the sudden and ongoing onset of physical complaints, school “phobia,” changes in eating and sleeping, and missing items. All these are signs that a child is being bullied.
For more information on cyberbullying, I might suggest the website for The Dr. Phil Show (www.drphil.com). There are numerous articles on the site to help parents and teachers to recognize the signs of bullying, and there is a summary of what we can do as individuals to encourage our elected officials to take action.
Take a look at the Cyber Bullying Quiz. It is most enlightening.