Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Myth of Cyber Bullying: Sophie Prince

CNN did a piece on Sophie Prince -- the Irish 15 high school student who committed suicide outside of Boston last year due to bullying (on Piers Morgan 11/30/11). Sophie's mother was interviewed and in the context of the interview she stated that cyber bullying had very little to do with Sophie's suicide. Most of the truly horrific cyber comments on Facebook occurred AFTER Sophie was dead. The day-in-and-day-out bullying happened fact-to-face while Sophie was at school, with other children and adults around.

The Berkman Center at Harvard made this same point last year in a summary of current research on bullying: most youth fear and are most affected by OFFLINE bullying/aggression/intimidation. They key here is to remember that students and staff in school settings are on the front line of bullying and are in the best position to stop bullying. Cyber attacks are terrible, but they are not as destructive or as prevalent at old fashioned, in the hallway way or in the bathroom bullying that occurs at school.

No comments:

Post a Comment