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What to do about Cyber-bullying

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Here’s the thing about cyber-bullying…

As teenagers in our technological era, there is constantly criticism about what we should or should not be doing. Adults and schools warn us about privacy issues and how much trouble we could get ourselves into, but the truth is, we still do it all anyway. Take cyber bullying, for example. Just last weekend, a fifteen year old from Wisconsin was expelled for cyber-bullying, and her school is allowing her to return if she undergoes a comprehensive psychological exam. I am sure she had heard the consequences before she decided to hide behind her computer to attack peers, but she did it anyway, as many teenagers do. I am sure she is mentally stable, but the choice to bully online made her look weak.

But what about the victims? Teen suicides are becoming almost frequent, and as sad as it is, each tragedy has become just another story of white noise. We do not realize that these people are our peers as well. For those victimized, help seems to be everywhere, yet hard to understand. People want to help, but how could we possibly choose the best option? These are a few key pointers that could help a cyber victim deal with the abuse:

1. Talk to someone. Parents and teachers are sometimes harder to talk to about issues, but even a friend could help you cope or seek out help.

2. Distance yourself. Avoiding the problem is not the right way to go, but distancing yourself from the source can help you think about your situation more clearly.  It is hard to stop texting or using the internet as we have become so accustomed to them, but the space may be beneficial.

3. Do not retaliate. Becoming a cyber bully yourself will not make you or anyone else feel better. It only worsens the situation. It is tempting to post back a rude comment, or form your own little “hate club”, but bringing yourself down to the bully’s level makes you look just as pathetic. Just remember that cyber bullies are doing their dirty work behind the technological wall, and really just want to make themselves feel better. You never know; they could have been victims themselves who just wanted an easy way out. But you are stronger than that.

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The School Newspaper of Peekskill High School
What to do about Cyber-bullying