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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New bully on the block

In the past bullies have been easy to spot on the playground. They even had catch phrases

Now, bullies have left the playground and moved online, making them harder to catch. With the help of online anonymity, things like "Juicy Campus" have given bullies new power: now they can trash you at home.

After the death of Phoebe Prince, a student who killed herself because of bullies, bullying has been getting a lot of media and academic attention. Now that bullies are using the internet and cel phones to carry out their harassment, bullies can be charged with stalking and criminal harassment.

Schools have responded as well. A teacher was suspended after asking students to list who was bullying them, in hopes that the list would encourage students to ostracize the bully. In the end, the list turned regular students on the bully-reversing who the bully is does not solve the problem.

As school begins this fall, cyber bullying is among the teacher training catalog. At Illinois State University, Graduate Students will be teaching elementary students how to use conflict management skills in their TRANSFORMERS program.

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