March 15, 2013
Moss Point High School
Outline I. Introduction A. Background B. Thesis 1. Cyber bullying is a form of bullying that is just as fatal as any other form seen throughout history, if not more. Cyber bullies cause their victims to suffer from depression, as well as low self-esteem, and may cause them to resort to self-harm and even suicide. II. Definition C. Cases 2. Megan Meier 3. Amanda Todd D. Prevention III. Effects of Cyber Bullying E. Self-harm F. Suicide IV. Profile of a Cyber Bully G. Peer Predators H. Pedophiles I. Impersonators V. Statistics VI. Conclusion
Bullying has been a common youth issue over the course of many centuries (TCCL 2011). Many people can recall being picked on while in school. While bullying has been around for centuries, there is a new form that today’s youth must deal with: cyber bullying. Cyber bullying may have seemed like no real problem a few years ago, but it has become a life-threatening problem in today’s society. Cyber bullying is a form of bullying that is just as fatal as any other form seen throughout history, if not more. Cyber bullies cause their victims to suffer from depression, as well as low self-esteem, and may cause them to resort to self-harm and even suicide.
Cyber bullying is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person (as a student), often done anonymously.” Cyber bullying can happen to anyone at any given moment. There are several cyber bullying cases circulating, but two of the most famous are the stories of Megan Meier and Amanda Todd. Their stories trended worldwide and essentially opened the eyes of the public about the dangers of cyber bullying
Megan Meier was thirteen years old at the time of her death. She was a victim of cyber bullying via MySpace. Megan’s death was brought on by a neighbor who had impersonated a 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans (Maag 2007). She had made Megan believe that Josh was a real boy and Megan quickly fell for “him.” Their sweet messages then turned nasty. On October 15, 2006, “Josh” began to insult Megan and they spent an hour insulting one another. The next day, he told Megan that the world would be a better place without her. Shortly after she read the message, Megan hung herself from a belt in her closet. This is one of the first major cases that dealt with cyber bullying.
Amanda Todd was a 15-year-old Canadian girl who was bullied from a mistake she made during a video chat. Amanda had been chatting with strangers when she was in Grade 7 and a stranger had convinced her to expose her breasts on the camera. The stranger had finally won her over and she had flashed the chat room. During Christmas Break of that same year, she had been informed by the police that the photo was circulating all over the internet. Amanda was then teased at school, causing her to change schools. One year later, the stranger had created a Facebook page, pretending to be Amanda. He used the vulgar photograph as the profile picture. He began contacting students at her new school, causing her to be teased again and change classes for a second time. Amanda had changed school several times, but this incident managed to catch up with her each time. Hours before she took her life, Amanda had done a YouTube video explaining her story using cue cards. There is much controversy about her naivety.
There are many ways to prevent cyber bullying. A start would be better restrictions on internet use. The laws for social sites should be stricter. Children under the age of 18 should be monitored more closely to prevent the opportunity for cyber bullying. Parents could set clear expectations for their children and explain how they believe that they should act when they get