May 27, 2009
Bullying: One Click Away
Cyberbullying. The National Education Association describes it as “being cruel to others
by sending or posting harmful material online or through a cell phone, or by engaging in other
cruel actions” (Williams). With the increased use of social networking sites, such as Myspace,
Facebook, AIM, and other various Internet sites, online bullying is on the rise.
People can now
harass each other with hateful words, explicit photos, and burning comments, at the click of a
With Hollywood gossip sites such as PerezHilton.com bashing celebrities and polluting
reputations, what used to be seen as wrong or mean, is now becoming more socially acceptable.
Not only is this problem in the adult world, but it heavily affects kids as young as elementary
school age. Cyberbullying has gotten so bad that it has been addressed on a state level. This past
September, California passed Assembly Bill 86, which is one of the first steps to combating
cyberbullying so that the current generations, and future generations, will be safe. Cyberbullying
is socially and emotionally damaging, and in order to stop the horrific consequences that
surround it, this increasing problem must be addressed.
One of the main reasons behind this new law, was because of the amounts of students
who were a victim of cyberbullying, became depressed, isolated, or found ways to hurt
themselves, often ending in death. In October 2006, 13 year old Megan Meier hung herself after
being told on Myspace that the “world would be better off without [her]” (Jameson).