I came across this infographic while researching online, and I thought it best to share.
The numbers are staggering. And quite frankly, disturbing. Back in my day, when cell phones and camera phones were rare, bullying manifested itself in physical and verbal form. The boys who picked on each other, the girls who spread hurtful rumors. Now, with the kind of accessible technology that we have, bullying has taken an uglier, more personal form. And it is terrifying.
My own kids are still pretty young to own phones, though my fifth grader does have an iPod with a built-in camera. Most of the kids in her grade have their own phones, which they bring to school with them. While there haven’t been instances of cyberbullying among her peers, there was one incident two years ago that involved a group of girls and a tape recorder.
Two years ago meant that my daughter was only in third grade then. She’s a good student, with a very kind heart. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, and I’m not just saying that because I’m her mother. I’m saying it because it is true. There was a group of girls who for some reason decided it would be funny to pretend they were my daughter and record something on their tape recorder, something that would humiliate her and a boy she was friends with. They played the tape at school, and indeed, they got the laughter that they wanted…except from the two people they made fun of. It wasn’t cool. And it wasn’t right that the bystanders did nothing to tell these girls that what they were doing was wrong and hurtful.
Of course, as soon as I found out, I contacted the parents of the girl who owned the tape recorder. The parents were oblivious–they had no clue (and were hesitant to believe) that their daughter would and could do such a thing. I contacted the parents of the girl who masterminded the *prank*, but all I got from that was a defensive mom who gave me the cold shoulder.
Bullying is a real problem that some adults brush off as “kids just being kids”. I hope that we can be better adults than that. Just look at the infographic. It is time we do something about it. It is time we make a difference.