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Rock Street, San Francisco

Tiara Young
Mr. Eagan
English 101
22 April 2018                              
Suspension For Cyberbullying  

Technology has created a lot of opportunities for society and the future generation. However, it is sometimes misused. Despite the fact that technology has improved our daily lives and is very beneficial in many ways, it could also be non-beneficial to individuals . Technology can be very malicious. A non-beneficial factor of technology is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is when someone misuses technology to send mean or embarrassing messages to or about a person. Cyberbullying can occur in a text, email, message, or any online form. Although traditional bullying can be controlled in schools, students that commit cyberbullying should be suspended from school.
    Bullying in general is often about having power over someone else. Power can be defined as having physical strength or having embarrassing information about someone. Bullies usually target kids who seem weaker, or less confident. Bullying can occur anywhere, school, or any public setting. Bullying is something to be aware of and can happen to children as well as adults. However, bullying presents itself mostly in schools. Schools are supposed to be a safe place for students to learn but sadly, for some students, school is a danger zone. Bullies in school will typically prey on students in hidden areas in the school such as the bathroom, locker room, library, or any location where there is small amount of people present. Students that are bullied are sometimes anxious to tell someone that they are being bullied. Victims of bullying are passive which makes it easy for bullies to bully them. Victims of bullying, inadvertently reward the bully by crying, giving over their possessions, or running away in fear. Moving forward, bullying can be more controlled in school. One way it can be controlled is by suspending the bully from school which stops the bullying from happening.
There are schools districts across the country that have put policies in place where bullies are suspended or expelled from school. These policies have reduced the incidents of cyberbullying at school. Schools in California punish students who engage in cyberbullying. “California is 1 of 18 states that include cyberbullying in their anti-bullying laws” (Leung,   “California Schools Can Now Discipline”). Even though schools in the past did not have the authority to punish off-campus behavior, Superintendent, Jeff Baarstad, of California School District gave that authority to school now. Based on statics, “nearly 43 percent of students have been bullied online and over 80 percent of teens use their cell phones regularly, making it the most common medium for cyber bullying.” (“11 Facts about CyberBullying”). In addition, according to the National Society For The Prevention of cruelty to Children, 1,599 children called the Childline to report bullying and cyberbullying.
Students that are caught cyberbullying should be suspended, because cyberbullying is one of the major causes of teen suicide. In a way, schools are responsible for some things that go on at home, such as students experiencing domestic violence, therefore, schools should suspend students that are committing cyberbullying. Cyberbullies may think its amusing bullying others online but cyberbullies don’t realize that there are consequences for cyberbullying. For an example, cyberbullies and their parents may face legal charges for cyberbullying. In New Jersey the punishment for a conviction of cyberbullying is a prison sentence of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000. With technology being so advanced a person is now capable of taking a photo of the cyberbullying going on. If someone decides to report this incident, photos could be used as  sources of evidence. What teens or any adults post online may reflect badly on them later when they apply for college or a job. Cyberbullying mentally and emotionally scars a person, causing low self esteem and depression. Not only should schools suspend bullies, but also create programs preventing cyberbullying or traditional bullying.. Anti- bullying programs or campaigns should be designed to raise awareness and and teach people to speak out about what is going on around them.
In some cases there are cyberbullying victims that have fought back. In the book, “CyberBullying And The Wild,Wild Web” by J.A.Hitchcock, there are victims that have experienced harassment  but learned to overcome it. For an example, two sisters, Kristen and Katherine, were bullied at school when they were 8 years old. When they were in high school, they finally switched to another school, hoping the bullying would stop. Although it died down a bit, they were still experiencing it online as well as offline, mainly Facebook for Katherine. For Kristen, the online bullying happened on several social media sites including AOL Instant, Formspring.com, Tumblr, and on her cell phone. Kristen states, ” On AOL, sometimes I would get harassing messages trying to bully me to send pictures of myself.” When she used Formspring, she would also get anonymous messages about her as a person, calling names like ‘whore,’etcetera. Other than Katherine experiencing bullying online, she also faced physical bullying.”Some of the senior boys smashed my head against a locker or shoved me into a locker when I would be in the halway getting ready for class,” Katharine said. This type of bullying was the most painful for Katherine, and life changing for her. For these two sister they wanted to put a end to cyberbullying as well as traditional bullying. They turned to music as an outlet for their frustration and anger at being bullied. They posted videos of their songs online, and that’s when Susan Broude, a producer for a documentary called Bullied to Silence, found them. Susan was touched by their music lyrics and wanted the sisters to share their story in the documentary, which showcased teens who have been bullied and cyberbullied. The sisters played their music at schools, festivals and fairs. Not only did the two sisters play their music but they also went to schools to talk about the effects of bullying and how to deal with it.
In the past, students that were victims of bullying while in school were able to escape from their bullies after school hours. Usually when students are bullied, home is a much safer place than school. This is because they were no longer bullied anymore. Most teens are at use of social media. Some teens can use social media for variety reason. Communicating with other teens, connecting with love ones, and even strangers. For students that are experiencing bullying at school there is also cyberbullying going at home. Being bullied at school can be difficult to get away from. Seeing you’re bully everyday can be terfiftying and devastating. Students that are committing cyber bullying, there is no longer a escape route for the victims. These victims now have to deal with this at school and outside of school. If students that are committing cyberbullying are suspended from school, there would be less bullying taking place, it’s also a better for the victim because they aren’t able to see the bullying face to face. By suspending students that commit cyberbullying it could be symbolic. Suspension can be symbolic because it could be closure for some victims. Of course, with the use of technology, student that are bullied can never be fully detached from the school, but suspension would lessen the bully’s access to other students. Not to mention that suspension will also give bullies a chance to reflect on his/her actions. Suspended bullies will have a sense of shame and humiliation, hopefully this could lead to a sense of empathy. Students that are suspended from school for committing cyberbullying will benefit other students in a good way.
In the monograph, “Beyond Bullying”, by Jonathan Fast, gives reasons why bullies should be suspended from schools. “Being cyberbullied did not necessarily vanish after graduation but often foreshadowing lifelong depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem”( Fast, 1). For the students that were being cyberbullied throughout their years of schooling, it can still have a effect on them throughout their lifetime. Cyberbullying can cause depression to a individual down the road and a lack of courage or confidence. If cyberbullies are more disciplined in schools, there would be less victims depressed throughout their lifetime. Suspension reduces the chances of other students being bullied and reduces depression to victims.
If cyberbullies are suspended from school it would be a much safer environment for students and teachers. Suspending cyberbullies from school will be a major turn for victims. Suspension, however, closes the cases for victims that are experiencing traditional bullying at school. School is a place of learning and interacting with others on a respectful level. There should be no negative comments made about other students even it occurs off of school grounds. Teachers and staff members should be issued when there is this type of behavior is going on. On the other hand, if a students is being cyberbullied from someone else that attends a different school, their principal should be notified as well. Besides California School Districts having the authority to suspended students that commit cyberbullying, there should be more schools that should take this in consideration. It has been well documented that cyberbullying has resulted in many tragic events, therefore, students that are committing cyberbullying should be suspended to prevent tragic events.

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