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September 25, 2013

Essay on Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying and school bullying has become a pressing problem on campus. School bullying can be defined in two ways. According to media’s perspective school violence is something in which an armed student shoots at other students and teachers. The other definition, which seems more appropriate, says, school violence is an act against other students that creates a hostile environment and negatively affects the students, either physically or psychologically. School violence includes all types of physical or verbal assaults; threats, coercion and all forms of harassment.
School violence is not a simple problem and it has more long lasting effects on the society and culture than anticipated. First of all violence at school affects the behavior of the victims as well as the violent students themselves. For example the victims tried to stay away from some place, or avoid school gatherings, some stay in the form of groups or some other avoid school. On the other hand the violent students feel that they are important and this importance is due to their violent behavior, such thinking and behavior ultimately affects society as a whole.
There are different forms of cyber bullying. Sometimes the bully insults or threats directly to the victim via email or instant messaging. Youth may also spread hateful comments about a person, especially through email and instant messaging or postings on websites. They often do so under a false identity using a stolen password to someone else. Those of them who have a good knowledge of technology are even able to mount a real website, often protected by a password, to target specific students or teachers.
Efforts to Control Bullying
Bullying is a serious matter and needs collective efforts from government, families and schools.
Congress had passed several laws to avoid and to deal with the problem of school violence, some of such laws are:
  • Safe School Act of 1994: according to this law, Department of Education provides grants to such school districts, which have a high rate of school violence, to reduce this violence
  • Safe and Drug free Schools and Communities Act of 1994: under this law, Department of Education provides grants to states to prevent violence and use of alcohol and drugs in and around schools
·         The Family and Community Endeavor Schools Act and the Community School Youth Services and Supervision Grant Program of 1994: under this law, Department of Education, Department of Health and the Human Services provide grants for the development of at-risk children in poor and high crime communities. Under this law, programs like homework assistance, educational assistance, social and athletic activities etc. also organized
Justification of Anti-bullying efforts
The justification of anti-bullying efforts is that such incidents of bullying are rampant at school however its intensity differ from school to school. It was incumbent on the congress to promulgate anti-bullying law. Nonetheless, throwing money to avoid school violence is not feasible in the cases of schools of poor areas because they might exaggerate their violence to get more money.
School violence prevention programs can be categorized into three different categories:
  • School Management Based Programs: these programs stress on the overall behavior of the students and discipline among them. They focus on to provide alternative schools and good relationship with law enforcement agencies
  • Environmental Modification: the main focus of these programs is to change student’s violent behavior by changing their social or physical environment. This may include after-school programs or increasing or decreasing school size etc.
  • Educational and Curriculum based programs: such programs emphasize on teaching behavior management skills and non-violent conflict resolution techniques to students
Evaluation of all these programs is not easy. It has been noticed that it is not possible to understand the efficacy of any specific violence-prevention program in a particular case.  Most of the violence-prevention programs focus on changing social skill and attitudes but do not delve into the reasons behind the violent behavior.

Shariff, Shaheen(2008) “Cyber-bullying: issues and solutions for the school, the classroom and the home” Taylor & Francis


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