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Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan

Corrales Avenue, Cagayan de Oro City, 9000

School Year 2014 -2015

The Effects of Cyber Bully to the Students


A Research Paper

Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

Of the Requirements

In

English 27

(Writing Across Discipline and Business Letters)

Submitted By:

Charmaine R. Tapungot

Submitted To:

Ms. Abigail C. James

September 18, 2014


Introduction

Children today are born into a world where a variety of technological tools have been at

their dispersal since their earliest memories. They are being raised in an Internet dominant

world where digital interaction often is the primary means through which they interact with

one another (Hinduja & Patchin, 2009). While the majority of todays youth are using the

Internet as a healthy venue for social interaction, the sharing of ideas, and school work (Dowell

et. al., 2009). As technology has become fully integrated into the lives of children, the negative

effects of life online are becoming more clearly identified. Technologys progression is often

equated with the advancement of human societies. Pivotal innovations, such as the Internet,

have forever changed how people interact. Though these developments have allowed the

human race to make great strides in many fields, they have also allowed forms of transgression

to become more rampant and widespread. As technology has evolved, bullying has

proliferated.

Bullying has been engrained in our societies ever since and has remained a relevant

issue through the years. Nowadays, still bullying is the major concern of the young people in

fact in 2010; it was ranked the third highest issue of concern for 11 to 14 year olds. Over a

quarter of this age group indicated it was a major concern, compared with 20 per cent of 15-19

year olds and 16 per cent of 20-24 year olds. Importantly, bullying is associated with increased

suicide risk. Because of technological transcendence, bullying also has formed into which was

known as the Cyber bully. Cyber bullying is on the rise with the advance and availability of

technology at our fingertips. According to Belsey (2004) "cyber bullying involves the use of

information and communication technologies such as e-mail, cell phone and pager text

messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal Web sites, and defamatory online personal

polling Web sites to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or

group that is intended to harm others" (Belsey, 2004). Cyber bullying is still a relatively new

phenomenon, but the little data currently in existence indicate that the negative effects of cyber

bullying are at least similar to those of more traditional forms of bullying (Ybarra & Mitchell,

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2004). According to Willard (2006), there are different forms of cyber bullying. These forms

include flaming, harassment, denigration, impersonation, outing, trickery, exclusion, cyber

stalking, and cyber threats. This emerging form of bullying appears to pose a serious threat to

the social and emotional development of children (Raskauskas & Stoltz, 2007) thus; cyber

bullying has been linked to multiple maladaptive emotional, psychological, and behavioral

outcomes (Hinduja & Patchin, 2006). The physical and metal effects of cyber bullying vary

depending on the victim, but the consequences include low self-esteem, anxiety, feeling sad,

being scared, feeling embarrassed, depression, anger, truancy, decreased academic

achievement, an increased tendency to violate others, school violence, and suicide (Willard,

2006; Beran & Li, 2005; Hinduja & Patchin, 2007; Hinduja & Patchin, 2009). It has been found

that cyber bullying can also have extreme repercussions such as suicide and violence. Marr and

Field (2001) referred to suicide brought on by bullying as "bullycide" (Marr & Field, 2001, p. 1).

Excessive time spent online can lead to increased loneliness and depression (Kraut et al., 1998;

Nie & Ebring, 2000), and the more time spent in cyberspace, the more likely that children are to

lose contact with their social environment (Nie & Ebring, 2002). These emotional changes can

lead to online victimization, now referred to as cyber bullying, which became widespread

around 2004 (Phillips, 2004). Like bullying, consequences of cyber bullying include

psychological and psychosomatic distress and severe emotional problems (Natvig, Albreksten,

& Quarstrom, 2001; Rigby, 2003; Roland, 2002; Seals & Young, 2003).

One of the primary reasons that cyber bullying has received so much attention

nowadays because the news is starting to report more cases of teenage suicide as a result of

incessant cyber bullying. While rare, incidents of suicide due to cyber bullying offer a sobering

dose of reality and call attention to a dire need for action. Several research studies have been

conducted to determine the effects of cyber bullying whereas the issue of cyber bullying is still

very new to researchers and educators. As a result, there are few cyber bullying research studies

available on the topic, and intervention strategies have not had time to be properly evaluated

(Smith et al., 2008; Beran & Li, 2007). While an increase in cyber bullying awareness is certainly

evident, there is a lack of sound research to provide schools with proactive steps that can be

taken to combat the problem.

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Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of the Cyber bully to the students

which nowadays continue to occur more frequently as technology becomes more readily

accessible by the masses, especially students. To further understand cyber bully with its

negative effects and to explore ways of preventing cyber bullying before it happens, and

intervening after it has occurred. As well as in finding a possible solution to cyberbu11ying,

victims will feel safer, not only in their homes, but at school as well. This study addressed three

research questions.

Research Questions

1. What are the forms and its effects of cyber bully to the students or victims?

2. What are the differences between males and females when it comes to cyber bullying?

3. What are some preventions and intervention for cyber bully occurrences to the students?

Primary Author

This study is related to the dissertation paper of Brian Wiseman of University of

Nevada, Las Vegas as its partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctor of Education

Degree in Educational Leadership in titled Cyber Bullying in Schools: A Research Study On School

Policies and Procedures in May 2011. His theory is based in The Stage Model of the Policy Process

of Fowler (2004) the stage model of the policy process is intended to explain the stages of a

policy from its political inception through its grassroots implementation. This process can be

applied to the creation and implementation of a cyber bullying policy at a school level. There

are six sections to Fowlers (2004) version of the stage model:

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1. Issue Definition although society has numerous social problems, only a few are ever

identified as public policy problems. Because of that, most problems are not addressed.

Problems are often addressed due to political support or pressure.

2. Agenda Setting not all problems defined as an educational policy issue are acted on.

An item must be placed on the policy agenda in order to have a chance at becoming a

policy. This policy agenda is usually set by those who are in power.

3. Policy Formulation before a policy can be formally adopted, it must be expressed in

written form. Proposed policies are presented and often go through several drafts. Rules

and regulations are written after the policies have been adopted, and they too pass

through several drafts.

4. Policy Adoption in order for a policy to take effect, its written formulation must be

adopted by authorized officials.

5. Implementation after a policy is adopted, it must be implemented at the grassroots

level by educators who may not necessarily be enthusiastic about it. Successful

implementation depends upon motivating educators to implement the policy and to

provide them with resources to do so.

6. Evaluation a form of applied research designed to determine if polices work the way

they are supposed to.

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Definition of Terms

Bully: A person who, either through physical or psychological means, intentionally attempts to

or successfully inflicts harm on someone else (Olweus, 2003).

Bullying: A student is being bullied when they are repeatedly exposed to negative actions by

one or more students who have more power than the student who is being bullied.

Bullying occurs when that power is used in a hostile manner which may cause physical or

psychological damage

Bullycide: Bullying which results in the victim's suicide (Marr & Field, 2001).

Cyber bully: A person who engages in the act of cyber bullying.

Cyber bullying: Involves the use of information and communication technologies such as e-mail,

cell phone and pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal Web sites,

defamatory online personal polling Web sites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile

behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others. (Belsey, 2004, n.p.)

Victim (or Target): a person who is exposed to the negative actions of a bully or a Cyber bully.

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Literature Related Review

Technology is changing so rapidly that it is nearly impossible to keep up with.

Cyber bullying has become particularly alarming because the perpetrators are able to

permeate into areas where victims previously were able to escape torment, making the

students feel as though they have no escape from the harassment (Dempsey et al., 2009).

Now adding another dimension to the torture that perpetrators can inflict upon their

prey is the fact that technological advances have given them boundless means with

which to harass their victims. Certain children find an outlet for their frustrations

through bullying others. In the past, these actions could be better controlled because

they were limited to face-to-face interactions. However, in recent years, this age-old

conflict has matched the pace of technological evolutions, making it more dangerous

and harder to contain. Cell phones, social media sites, chat rooms, and other forms of

technology have allowed bullying to expand into cyberspace. This new form of abuse is

known as cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is a new form of bullying that follows students

from the hallways of their schools to the privacy of their homes. Many victims of cyber

bullying are bullied from the moment they wake up and check their cell phone or e-

mail, to the time they go to bed and shut off their computer or cell phone. Because cyber

bullying does not take place in person, it can occur at any time. The fact that electronic

bullying messages can be distributed to such a wide audience in such a short amount of

time certainly heightens childrens perceptions of vulnerability (Kowalski & Limber,

2007).

Cyber bullying is quickly becoming a very significant problem, and for many

teenagers, it has become a part of everyday life. There are numerous ways in which

cyber bullies reach their online victims. According to Willard (2006) these ways include

sending cruel, vicious and sometimes threatening messages, creating web sites with

content about the victim without the victim knowing, or posting pictures online asking
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other people to rate things such as who is the biggest loser in the school. Other cyber

bullies may break into the victim's e-mail account to send e-mails posing to be the

victim, engage the victim in a conversation via instant messaging and send the

information collected to other people, or take pictures of the victim without them

knowing, such as in the locker room (Willard, 2006). One study found that 14% of

students who cyber bullied did so simply because they did not like the person, 13% did

it because that person upset them, 10% did it in retaliation to being bullied themselves,

9% did it because their friends did it, and 7% did it simply because it was fun (Cassidy

et al., 2009). Most cyber bullies are individuals who have an actual personal relationship

with their victims (Hinduja & Patchin, 2009). In fact, a study of 770 adolescents by the

National Childrens Home (2005) showed that 73% of cyber bullying victims knew their

harasser. Another study by Ybarra et al. (2007) showed that only 13% of victims did not

know the identity of their online harasser. It is also important to note that many victims

of cyber bullying are also likely to use technology to bully others (Beran & Li, 2007;

Raskauskas & Stoltz, 2007). Most of these cyber bullies perform their acts while they are

at home by themselves, and their preferred method of harassment is usually in forums

such as text messages, e-mails, and social networking sites such as MySpace and Face

book (Juvonen & Gross, 2008; Hinduja & Patchin, 2009). The primary predictors in

determining the probability that an individual will engage in cyber bullying appear to

be age, computer proficiency, and amount of time spent online; sex and race have not

been identified as predictors (Hinduja & Patchin, 2007).

Although there are many benefits to Internet use, adolescents primarily log on to

the Internet to socialize (Media Awareness Network, 2001). As the quantity and

popularity of social networking continues to soar, so do the opportunities for the

misuse of technology. Because of this, cyber bullying is a phenomenon that is drastically

increasing in prevalence.

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Research Question Results

Three research questions were being address in this study. The questions will be

answered based on the research papers related to cyber bully a combination of results obtained

by different researchers and authors primarily Brian Wiseman on his Cyber bullying In Schools:

A Research Study On School Policies And Procedures and Stephen Dueckon on his Cyber bullying:

A New Place For An Old Practice.

Research Question 1: What are the forms and its effects of cyber bully to the students or

victims?

According to Willard (2006), there are different forms of cyber bullying. These forms

include flaming, harassment, denigration, impersonation, outing, trickery, exclusion, cyber

stalking, and cyber threats. Forms of cyber bullying go beyond name calling and enter a world

of impersonation and cyber threats. According to Willard (2006), there are nine main forms of

cyber bullying: flaming, harassment, denigration, impersonation, outing, trickery, exclusion,

cyber stalking and cyber treat. Flaming is online fights using electronic messages with angry

and vulgar language. Harassment is another form in which the cyber bully repeatedly sends

insulting messages via the Internet. Denigration is "dishing" someone online which can include

sending or posting gossip or rumors about a person that could damage their reputation or

friendships. Impersonation is pretending to be someone else in order to get that person in

trouble with other people or to damage their reputation and friendships. Outing is sharing

someone's secrets, embarrassing information, or photos online without his/her permission.

Trickery is similar to outing, in which the cyber bully will trick the victim to reveal secrets or

embarrassing information and then share it with others online. Exclusion is intentionally

excluding someone from an online group. Cyber stalking is repeated, intense harassment and

denigration that includes threats or creates a significant amount of fear in the victim. Lastly,

cyber threats are defined as either threats or "distressing material," general statements that

make it sound like the writer is emotionally upset and may be considering harming someone

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else, themselves, or committing suicide (Willard, 2006). Cyber bullying is different from

traditional bullying due to the anonymity that the Internet can provide. Cyber bullies do not

have to own their actions due to the anonymity and cyber bullying is often outside of the legal

reach of schools and school boards since it often happens outside of the school (Belsey, 2004).

Cyber bullying is still a relatively new phenomenon, but the little data currently in existence

indicate that the negative effects of cyber bullying are at least similar to those of more

traditional forms of bullying (Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004). Because of this, it is important to take a

look at the effects of traditional bullying in order to gain a better understanding of cyber

bullying. Despite the infancy of cyber bullying, traditional bullying has long been a deeply

embedded problem in schools throughout the world (Roland & Isdoe, 2001).

Victims of cyber bullying may experience stress, low self-esteem, and depression. It has

been found that cyber bullying can also have extreme repercussions such as suicide and

violence. Marr and Field (2001) referred to suicide brought on by bullying as "bullycide" (Marr

& Field, 2001, p. 1). The negative effects of bullying can range anywhere from relatively minor

to extremely severe. The list of physical and emotional effects of bullying includes headaches,

stomachaches, tiredness, depression, anxiety, delinquency, truancy, social isolation, sleep

disorders, and possibly even suicide (Baldry, 2004; Cullerton-Sen & Crick, 2005; Kahtri,

Kupersmidt, & Patterson, 2000). In a study of 384 students, Hinduja and Patchin (2007) found

that 42.5% of the cyber bullying victims felt frustrated, 40% were angry, 27% were sad, and

31.9% experienced repercussions at school. Mitchell, Wolak, and Finkelhor (2004) found that of

over 1,500 youth surveyed, approximately one-third felt at least one negative effect because of a

cyber bullying incident.

Another study found that 38% of cyber bullying victims felt very or extremely upset or

afraid, with some becoming very jumpy or irritable because they were unable to stop thinking

about an incident (Wolak et al., 2006).Because of the pervasive effects felt by cyber bullying

victims, there are often behaviors, academic, or attendance problems that permeate into the

school environment. Students who are victims of cyber bullying report having unfavorable

attitudes towards school, they demonstrate behavior problems while at school, they have higher

rates of substance abuse problems, and report higher frequency of peer aggression. They are

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less likely to come to school, have difficulty concentrating while at school, and receive lower

grades than students who are not victims, have elevated levels of distress, and are more likely

to encounter instances of face-to-face bullying while at school. (Juvonen & Gross, 2008; Beran &

Li, 2007). Nowadays cyber bullying increasing as children grow older, victims who have not

properly addressed their problems that have arisen due to bullying have higher incidents of

academic failure (Leff & Kupersmidt, 1999). These emotional and physical effects do not always

remain in adolescence; they can often carry on into adulthood as well (Batsche & Knoff, 1994).

But not all victims of cyber bullying report has serious effects, but according to one study,34%

of cyber bullying victims felt frustrated, over 30% felt angry, and nearly 22% felt sad (Patchin

and Hinduja, 2006).

Although these behaviors dont initially occur at school, their emotional effects often

accompany students when they do come to school. Because these emotions can lead to increases

in violence, increases in truancy, and decreased academic performance (Beran & Li, 2005),

schools have a vested interest in dealing with issues related to cyber bullying.

Research Question 2: What are the differences between males and females when it comes to

cyber bullying?

It has been found that there are differences between not only the prevalence of cyber

bullying between males and females but also the ways in which males and females cyber bully.

Like bullying, cyber bullying is a serious problem which can cause the victim to feel inadequate

and overly self-conscious, along with the possibility of committing suicide due to being cyber

bullied. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project survey in 2006 about cyber

bullying, girls were more likely than boys to say they have experienced cyber bullying; 38% of

online girls reported being bullied compared to 26% of online boys. Furthermore, girls aged 15

to 17 are the most likely to have experienced cyber bullying, with 41 % of respondents from that

group reporting they had been cyber bullied compared to 34% of girls ages 12 to 14. It was also

found that nearly 4 in 10 social network users have been cyber bullied, compared with 22% of

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online teens who do not use social networking sites (cited in Lenhart, 2007). According to a

study conducted in 2008 by Hinduja & Patchin, females are as likely, if not more likely, to be

involved in cyber bullying in their lifetime.

Although, when students were asked about their recent experiences of being cyber

bullies, males and females responded equally. When asked about lifetime participation, females

reported higher rates of participating in cyber bullying, which leads one to believe females

engage in these activities for a longer period of time. Females tend to take pictures of victims

without them knowing and posting them online more than males did. Females also tend to post

things online to make fun of someone more often, although males tend to send emails to make

them angry or to make fun of them. Although traditionally males tend to bully in more outward

and public ways, according to this study, females are more likely to ensure that their victims are

embarrassed in front of a larger audience since they use social networking sites instead of e-

mail more often than males do. When it comes to being a victim of cyber bullying, the results

are about the same. Females are more likely to have experienced the effects of cyber bullying

than males, although the difference disappears when they were asked about the last 30 days.

The data shows that females are 6% more likely to have been cyber bullied in their lifetime than

males. Females also have increased rates of being cyber bullied by someone at their school and

having threats made online be carried out at school (Hinduja & Patchin, 2008).

Hinduja & Patchin (2008) researched the reasons why females participate in and

experience cyber bullying more often than males. They found that due to females being more

verbal and cyber bullying being text based, it is more likely for females to partake in cyber

bullying. Females also tend to bully in more emotional and psychological ways, such as

spreading rumors and gossiping, which is more in line with cyber bullying. Females tend to be

less confrontational when in a face to face situation and therefore the anonymity of the online

community may be more appealing to them.

Hinduja & Patchin also state that females are generally culturally and socially

constrained when it comes to using aggression or physical violence, however, are not under

those constraints while they are online. Females are often more apt to require social support and

in order to gain that, they often gang up against other females. The online community is an easy

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and quick way to gang up against other females and to have many people views it which adds

to the humiliation (Hinduja & Patchin, 2008). Traditional bullying for boys was more physical,

whereas girls tended to spread rumors, exclude other girls from their social cliques, and use

teasing or name calling. Females who bully other females tended to be manipulative,

aggressive, mean, and control the victim through fear (Glazier, 2003).

Research Question 3: What are some preventions and intervention for cyber bully occurrences

to the students?

Unfortunately, there is no magical bullet that will protect all adolescents from cyber

bullying, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce its frequency and impact (Hinduja &

Patchin, 2009). Given the fact that the majority of teens do not feel that adults are capable of

stopping cyber bullying from occurring, educators need to begin by communicating an

awareness of the problem, a willingness to help, and by showing some action and fostering the

self-esteem of youth (Feinberg & Robey, 2009; Cassidy et al., 2009). Even Schools are not able to

reasonably solve the problem by merely blocking all access to technology, so such an approach

would not be an appropriate course of action (Brown, Cassidy, & Jackson, 2006; Hinduja &

Patchin, 2009).

Instead, it is recommended that schools take a proactive, educational approach towards

dealing with cyber bullying but it is not necessarily a lost cause to provide Internet education.

But since students begin exploring life online Internet education needs to begin at a very early

age (Hinduja & Patchin, 2009; Dowell et al., 2009). Some studies have suggested that setting up

anonymous means of reporting and punishing aggressors are effective, but providing education

remains the key factor in reducing the prevalence of cyber bullying (Cassidy et al., 2009;

Hinduja & Patchin, 2009; Dowell et al., 2009). Beran & Li (2007) assert that cyber bullying

intervention plans require the efforts of administration, teachers, students, parents, and

community members alike. Students should be exposed to a climate that actively identifies

cyber bullying as a behavior that is not tolerated, and they should be exposed to curricular

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enhancements and assembly programs that support the schools belief towards appropriate use

of technology (Hinduja & Patchin, 2009). An additional suggestion is to identify student leaders

who can provide peer mentoring where they teach younger students about reacting to and

preventing cyber bullying (Mustacchi, 2009).

Since students will eventually be exposed to inappropriate content at some point while

online, it makes sense to provide them with the tools to properly address those situations before

they occur (Hinduja & Patchin, 2009). Some popular strategies that students have identified

include blocking instant messages, changing e-mail addresses, changing phone numbers,

ignoring minor instances, not responding to the bully, and logging all evidence of bullying

(Smith et al, 2008; Hinduja & Patchin, 2009; Feinberg & Robey, 2009). In fact, nearly 65% of

adolescents have reported having to use instant messenger blocking at least once (Dwyer, 2007).

Not only should this type of education be provided to students, but it imperative that parents

and guardians are also educated on the topic (Bauman, 2009).

There are many positive aspects of the social networking world as teens have

opportunities to keep in touch with family and friends regardless of geographic location, and

students can often obtain a different perspective of life as a result of social interactions that they

otherwise would not have had (Hinduja &Patchin, 2009; Brown et al., 2006). With the exploding

popularity of social networking comes the importance of information that is made available to

the public via individual profiles. Hinduja and Patchin (2010) believe that the majority of youth

are demonstrating common sense when it comes to posting personal content that is available for

public view, with only a small percentage of adolescents using inappropriate language or

demonstrating use of illicit substances.

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Summary

The explosion of the Internet, social networking, and smart phones has affected nearly

everyone in modern society. In fact, as far back as 2004, it was estimated that nearly 97% of

youth had regular access to the Internet (Ybarra, 2004). While there are many academic, social,

and business-related benefits that have arisen from the astounding technological advances in

the past couple of decades, it has also led to the creation of a new form of human indecency that

is now referred to as cyber bullying. Through the use of social networking sites like Face book,

MySpace, and Twitter, through text messaging, e-mail, instant messaging, and chat rooms,

individuals are now able to completely humiliate others in a variety of fashions, with a

seemingly unlimited audience, in a matter of seconds. Certain children find an outlet for their

frustrations through bullying others. In the past, these actions could be better controlled

because they were limited to face-to-face interactions. However, in recent years, this age-old

conflict has matched the pace of technological evolutions, making it more dangerous and

harder to contain. Cell phones, social media sites, chat rooms, and other forms of technology

have allowed bullying to expand into cyberspace. This new form of abuse is known as cyber

bullying. The problem has become so prevalent that nearly 70% of teenagers have been a victim

of cyber bullying at some point (Juvonen & Gross, 2008), and its so severe that as many as 93%

of teenagers feel negative effects from incidents of cyber bullying (Raskauskas & Stoltz, 2007).

Such effects include emotional and psychological disorders, low self-esteem, anxiety, feeling

sad, being scared, being embarrassed, increased truancy, decreased academic achievement,

depression, increases in violent behavior, and potentially even suicide (Willard, 2006; Beran &

Li, 2005; Hinduja & Patchin, 2007; Hinduja & Patchin, 2009). Developing an effective cyber

bullying program is a struggle for most school administrators since many of these behaviors

occur off campus and not during school hours. An additional struggle is the lack of reporting by

students who are witnesses or victims of cyber bullying. While the numbers may vary slightly,

however, many of these incidents, which happens off-campus, are resolved in some fashion at

school, thus making the issue of cyber bullying extremely relevant to school districts and school

leaders.

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Conclusion

Technology has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for students. With the

internet and new communications technologies, they have the world at their fingertips. The

possibilities for learning and socializing are endless but so too are the possibilities for doing

serious harm to others. It is evident that cyber bullying has similar, if not the same detrimental

effects on its victims as traditional bullying. For this reason, young people need to have instilled

in them a sense of responsibility that will lead to a responsible use of this technological power

they have at their fingertips. Having this new and rapidly changing and expanding technology

gives these students great power, and with great power comes great responsibility to use it

wisely.

Cyber bullying is becoming more prevalent as students spend an increasing amount of

time using technology that keeps them connected to people at all hours of the day. There are

many different ways in which cyber bullies reach their victims, including instant messaging

over the Internet, social networking web sites, text messaging and phone calls to cell phones.

There are different forms of cyber bullying including, but not limited to, harassment,

impersonation, and cyber stalking. It has been found that there are differences between not only

the prevalence of cyber bullying between males and females but also the ways in which males

and females cyber bully.

Like bullying, cyber bullying is a serious problem which can cause the victim to feel

inadequate and overly self*conscious, along with the possibility of committing suicide due to

being cyber bullied.

Each day school children learn valuable skills and lessons from their teachers as well as

through interactions with their peers. Every student has the right to come to school with the

confidence that they are going to a safe, secure environment.

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