Bullying II

I wanted to make further comments on this topic.  A former colleague of mine shared the following videos on Facebook, and I thought they were helpful in this discussion.

This first link is to a video trying to raise awareness of the serious of cyber-bullying.  I’m not sure how some of the statistics are arrived at – particularly the one regarding cyber-bullying victims being twice as likely to attempt suicide as victims of more ‘traditional’ forms of bullying.  
The thing that strikes me here is that nowhere is technology questioned.  It’s assumed that technology is and must be a part of every young person’s life, so that truly there is no place where they are safe from bullying.  As I stated yesterday, I disagree with that fundamental assumption about technology and youth, and the fact that videos like this don’t even deal with that question is negligent, to say the least.
The second video features the father of a teenage boy who killed himself after suffering from cyber bullying.  It’s compelling, and I salute the father for taking this message on the road.  Children need to hear this, and his point about the importance of bystanders refusing to be idle spectators is crucial.  Bullies generally want an audience.  If the audience evaporates, I believe the impetus to bully will – more often than not – dissipate as well and attention will be sought in other ways.  However I don’t know if he questions the adoption of technology by youth in his talks either.  But I hope that he does.  
Bullying is a serious issue.  Given human nature and the particularly volatile nature of youth, I doubt it can ever be fully eliminated.  But it can be reduced for sure.  Parents can play a role in this in how they decide to allow their children to interact with technology.  If you’re a parent, talk to your child about bullying.  Grandparents can and should do this as well – and may even have a greater opportunity for a child to confide in you.  

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