Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cyberbullying: Spread the Word

If you've read my blog at all, you know that cyberbullying is an issue that had the occasion to hit close to home, affecting my teenage brother-in-law.  He was the target of some pretty nasty cell phone text messages about six months ago.  Fortunately, he wasn't as negatively affected by this experience as some, and has been able to disregard the experience as the stupidity of a few small-minded classmates.

As a result of my brother-in-law's experience, I've done a lot of reading, and found out that this issue is more wide-spread than I thought.  It shouldn't have surprised me.  Kids can be mean, and with new, more immediate ways of communicating, they can be mean a lot easier than ever before.  All it takes is a teenager with a cell phone and a bad idea to turn another kid's cell phone, email account, IM account, Facebook, or any other "cyber" communications method into a mode of attack.

On my journey through cyberspace to learn more about the problem, I happened upon a website called CyberBullying.us.  Run by two Criminal Justice professors, CyberBullying.us aims to raise awareness about cyberbullying, promote discussion, and provide information for parents, teachers, and students on how to prevent cyberbullying in their homes and classrooms.

Cyberbullying is real problem, and has consequences outside of a few nasty messages sent to a kid's cell phone or computer screen.  Awareness is the key, and I applaud Dr. Sameer Hinduja and Dr. Justin W. Patchin for putting together a resource like CyberBullying.us.

Click HERE to check out CyberBullying.us

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