Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Standing Up to Cyberbullying!

In our latest play, a new girl comes to school to get a new start and finds herself the victim of a cyberbullying campaign. This behavior has become a huge problem among young people in the last few years. Cyberbullying is when teens use the Internet, cell phones or other devices to send or post messages or images that are intended to hurt or embarrass another person.

Cyberbullying behaviors can look different. Pretending to be someone you're not to trick others, spreading lies or rumors about the victim, tricking people to reveal personal information, sending (or forwarding) mean text messages or posting pictures of someone without their consent can all be forms of cyberbullying.

If you or someone you know is being harassed via text messages or the Internet, there are steps that can be taken to end it. You can start by blocking all communication with the bully, deleting their messages without reading them and reporting the problem to an adult. You should also talk to your friends about what is happening and give them chances to support you.

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, 81% of teens surveyed said they thought most people do it because they think it's funny. Because we can't easily interpret the tone of a text message, what one person calls a joke can end up being dangerously hurtful.

Remember -- encouraging your friends to pass along anything that could hurt someone IS Cyberbullying. Stand up to your friends and tell them to stop it. Let them know that no one deserved to be Cyberbullied!