The growing problem of cyber-bullying
Published: Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 14:02
According to the American Justice Department, one out of four young people in the United States school system are bullied. Bullying has now been taken to a new level with technology. Bullies can haunt children all day and never have to see their faces.
The victim is unclear in cyber-bullying cases. Is it the students who will lose their free speech rights or the child who is being picked on?
If the United States government does create laws restricting what can be said by school-aged children, such laws will be opposed on the grounds that the children still have their First Amendment right of free speech.
In Phoebe Prince's case, the parents of the bullies claimed their children did nothing wrong. Prince killed herself this past January because nine other students were bullying her. Angeles Chanon, the mother of one of Prince's bullies, claimed Prince started the fights and all her daughter ever did was call Prince names.
Most teenagers would vouch it is natural to call others names and fight. To suspend or expel a student for fighting would violate the First Amendment.
If the government creates such laws, which many states have already passed, then students may legally to lose their right to free speech.
The U.S. government has grown concerned about this issue and has taken action. Currently, 45 of the 50 states have some form of anti-bullying legislation. However, many students still suffer from bullying. Many people believe that a national anti-bullying law will severe repercussions in necessary. The problem is that young people today do not even recognize their own wrongdoing. Even worse, parents defend their children's irresponsible actions.
A bill making it a crime for anyone under the age of 17 to send suggestive electronic pictures, use chat rooms or other technological-assisted methods of bullying another child recently surfaced in New Jersey's state Senate. This bill, if passed, would punish not only minors but adults, too.
Cyber bullying has become too popular. Students commit suicide, drop out of school, and suffer from self-esteem issues, depression and anxiety. Something needs to be done.
Cyber bullying should never have become as popular as it has. Parents should make sure their children understand the difference between right and wrong. It makes me sick to know parents are defending their children when the latter caused another person to take his or her life.
Bullying should not be taken lightly. When people claim that making it illegal to say certain things is a violation of free speech, they need to re-establish their priorities. Free speech is no longer free when it comes with a cost, such as another child's life, education or self-esteem.
The fact that the government must now become involved in this issue is sad. The government is parenting. It is a parent's job to teach his or her child the difference between right and wrong. Our government should not expend time and effort to create anti-bullying laws.
Parents cannot monitor all of their children's actions, but they shou