It is known that online communication attracts people from all over the world. However, children and adolescents use Internet not only to find the necessary information for school assignment and to communicate with friends or to download some movie or music. Some of them use Internet to send some harmful text or cruel image to others. Cyberbullying is the use of new communication technologies to threaten, or humiliate, or harass, or even embarrass a person. Nowadays cyberbullying is considered to be a fast growing trend in juvenile delinquency.
Phoebe Prince is not the only teenager who has committed suicide after being victimized by her classmates. It is also known that in 2010, about 13 million children and adolescents became the victims of cyberbylling in the USA.
The impact of cyberbullying is enormous. Cyberbullying may take place on the websites, vie e-mail, in chat rooms, vie messages, and cell phones.
It is clear that certain actions should be implemented by the victims, parents, friends and educators to respond to cyberbullying.
The victims should not take revenge because the revenge action may lead to the more aggressive harassment from the cyber bully. It is also recommended to follow the next steps:
”¢ to tell the cyber bully to stop his aggressive and harmful behavior;
”¢ to ignore all the messages and not to use the offensive
language in the future communications;
”¢ to inform the parents of the cyber bully of his child’s aggressive and inadequate behavior (if possible)
”¢ to make a copy of the cyber bully’s texts in order to show them to the parents or educators;
”¢ to request assistance of the school psychologist, principal and police officer;
”¢ to contact the police in case cyberbullying has serious threats.
The parents play an important role in preventing cyberbullying. It is known that most cases of cyberbullying take place when children are at home. So, parents should not ignore their child’s problems. They should act in the following way:
”¢ to communicate with their children concerning their online activities;
”¢ to tell children that it is necessary to inform adults of cyberbullying immediately.
”¢ To explain children that cyberbulling is an illegal action.
”¢ To install parental control filtering software;
”¢ to inform the antibullying organizations or the police if the action of cyberbullying is dangerous.
The friends of victims should inform the adults of the threats or harassment immediately. They should not take revenge together with the victim.
The educators should pay special attention to this issue. They should determine the prevalence of harmful or cruel messages addressed to the victim. Moreover, they should evaluate the situation and develop special antibullying programs which may include different surveys distributed to the teachers and parents. Of course, the educators should provide all the staff, parents and children with necessary information concerning certain measures to prevent and respond to cyberbullying. They should train the staff to identify the victims in order to prevent the cases of violence and suicide.
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that cyberbullyng can be prevented if special attention is paid to the children and adolescents’ online communication activities. All the children and adolescents should know their rights and should not be afraid of taking legal steps to respond to cyberbullying.