With the emergence of Facebook, Twitter and even MySpace, bullying has moved from the schoolyard into people’s homes via the Internet.
There are more children enduring harsh harassment from their peers that they are deciding to end their lives to escape the verbal and physical abuse.
In January, 15-year-old Phoebe Prince, an Irish native who moved to Northampton, Mass. with her family, ended her life due to pressures of being bullied and harassed at school. For five months, Prince was harassed verbally and via the Internet. According to CBSnews.com, the day Prince ended her life, was the day she was “pelted with a beverage container and cursed at as she walked home from school.” Nine teens are currently facing charges of stalking, criminal harassment and violating Prince’s rights.
Sadly, Prince’s story is not the first.
It is highly possible for bullying to be stopped before it reaches the boiling point. But what constitutes as bullying?
Unfortunately, this could be where the issues lies within school systems, teachers and parents. What one person may see as bullying may be something less offensive to another. According to stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov, bullying consists of harming someone by physical means, spreading rumors, keeping people out of the group, teasing and ganging up on someone. Sending “mean” text messages, emails, instant messaging and posting picture on Web sites are also included.
Some school systems believe kids are behaving normally and the only reprimand for bullying is to give them some small form of punishment. A possible solution to stop bullying may be to implement tougher rules on how bullying should be handled.
Some tormented teenagers take the issue of bullying into their own hands. No one can ever forget the story of Columbine. Two high school seniors, Eric Harns and Dylan Klebold, who went on a rampage on April 20, 1999 and killed 21 students, one teacher, injured 24 other people. In the end, they committed suicide.
As of now, there are 40 states have laws to deal with the issue of bullying. Sadly there are still 10 states that do not. The state of Massachusetts, where the bullying and suicide of Prince took place, is one of those states. Seeing as how bullying and cyber-bullying have gotten worse, maybe now all 50 states will have bullying laws.