Hi, I am submitting a college writing assignment that I would like some feedback and advice on. My three areas of weakness are how to make it more arguable, paraphrasing better and how to make a stronger thesis. Thank you!
Due to the increase in cell phone use, texting and social media websites, cyberbullying is on the rise. Parents must listen to their children when the child opens up to them. Sometimes they cannot always open up to their parents, but the parents need to create a home environment where the child can be open with what is going on in their life. Suicide in children and teens that are being cyberbullyed is on the rise and parents might need to resort to legal action.
Schools need to teach students about how cyberbullying can hurt and help put a stop to it and hold cyberbullies accountable for their infractions upon innocent people. Educating students about cyberbullying, demonstrate how it hurts, prohibiting cell phones on school property and taking away the ones that do make it on campus will help at school. Lawmakers are in the process of creating serious and stricter laws against the person or persons doing the bullying. States and cities are also creating laws and punishments for people who do the crime. These people need to be more seriously punished in order to learn how seriously they have hurt the person being bullied. Cyberbullying is a hurtful and growing trend that parents, schools and lawmakers need to get more involved in to help put a stop to it.
Consequently, suicide in children and teens is growing due to being cyberbullyed and made fun of either at school, home or on social media websites, due to the way they look, act, handicap or their national origin. In a few instances, a 15 year old girl from Ireland was constantly tormented by her high school classmates, not only at school, but by text messages and on facebook because she was an immigrant. She needed a way out and committed suicide, but unfortunately, that was perhaps not the way to handle it, she should have gone to authorities at school and the local authorities. A 13 year old boy was constantly bullied at school and online. His parents were extremely involved in his life and computer use. The problem was much deeper though and was still there, so he found a way to end it. His parents dedicated a website and their professional lives to the memory of their son and for all young people suffering in silence from the pain of bullying and having thoughts of suicide. They have gone out on speaking tours and school assemblies to help schools know and understand this problem. In another situation, a disabled 9 year old girl with Huntington's disease was tortured and taunted by a neighbor and made fun of on her facebook page, her parents noticed, but they were tortured also. This also resulted in her death. When will this stop?
Accordingly, parents need to create an open environment at home in order for the child to come to them with issues and not hide from the parents. They need to listen to their children when cyber or "normal" bullying occurs and not yell at them to cause them to hide. Having an open environment at home were the children and/or teens can discuss anything with their parents is an important step to deal with these issues. Children and teens want to have their own way of living that is probably different from the way their parents want them to live and hide what is happening to them. Teens need to listen to their parents if they want to get help dealing with issues. Peer pressure always leads to problems that they do not want to get into. Being in the "in crowd" is not always the right way to go.
Indeed, schools need to teach students about how cyberbullying can hurt and help put a stop to it. Teachers should not close their eyes to bullying, perhaps taking the cell phone away during class might be a temporary fix. Students will not like this but it's a start. Parents should not allow their child or teen to bring a cell phone to school. Children or teens need to be less electronic friendly at school, they are there to learn. Education is the most important way in learning how to deal with bullying. Schools need to increase their student assemblies, have more education and be more diligent about looking for kids who are bullying others and not ignore the issues. They should use speakers who lives that have been shattered by their deceased child and that usually open up eyes of students. Perhaps, a speech conducted by a student who is a "reformed" bullier is extremely eye opening as well. Teachers need to be more aware and educate their students about what long term effects of cyberbullying.
To illustrate, some statistic about cyberbullying:
- 29% of teens say they have been contacted online by a person who has no connection to them or their friends.
- 62% of those say this has happened more than once. Of all those who have been contacted by a stranger.
- 23% say they responded to the person who contacted them.
- 11% of teens say they have been bullied online or by text messages. Girls report a higher incidence of bullying (15%) than boys (7%). Only 4% acknowledge bullying other people.
- 31% of teens admit they have communicated something to someone online that they would not have said to the person's face.
Equally disturbing statistics indicate:
- 33% of parents are unsure whether or not their child's school teaches safe Internet practices.
- 24% of teens indicate that either their schools do not provide such training, or they are unsure whether or not it provides such training.
- 94% of parents say they have spoken to their teens about Internet safety. 10% of teens say their parents have never spoken to them about Internet safety, and another 6% don't know if such a conversation ever took place.
- 73% of parents believe most teens do things online that they wouldn't want their parents to know about. Their children are in close alignment on this point: 74% of teens indicate that most of their peers do things online that they wouldn't want their parents to know about.1
Meanwhile, lawmakers are developing anti-bullying laws to have more serious penalties to the person or people who are doing the bullying. The Department of Education has done a study that shows that many states have banned cyberbullying. Some statistics show that schools in 13 states can intervene when behavior off campus creates a hostile environment at school. There are 46 states that have anti-bullying laws, but there are only two, Maryland and New Jersey, that have all the key components to the law. In North Carolina, the state passed a law in 2009 to criminalize cyberbullying, making it a misdemeanor for youths under 18. The laws include components where the law defines bullying, whether it's gossip or if certain things are banned. Protection of students who are most likely to be bullied is addressed. School districts are required to adopt anti-bullying policies. Stricter punishment to those people who are doing the bullying has to be addressed. Many states and school districts are taking strong steps aimed at curbing cyber abuse. In Congress, bills to provide new funding for online-safety programs have been introduced, but conflicts have arisen over how federal money for such efforts should be spent.
New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has signed an anti-cyberbullying legislation bill that in general, puts more responsibility on schools to monitor and report incidents. The bill defines the crime as harassment, whether it is on campus or not, which that takes place through any electronic means, and that would reasonably cause harm both physically and/or mentally to a student. This law would create a system for reports of cyberbullying to reach school administrators and calls for teacher training to better identify the crime.
Equally important, is an article written by, Thomas J. Billitteri, who has over 30 years experience writing about business, teacher education and parental rights. He seems to make very valid points about how the growing epidemic of the use of computers, cell phones, and social networking sites that have seen a huge increase in cyberbullying over the last few years. He talks about all the crimes against children that have taken place and children that have ended their lives due to their being unable to cope anymore. He states that cyberbullying "inflicts painful scars on youngsters and vexing adults unable to stop the abuse" (par. 6). Mr. Billitteri writes that not only schools need to watch for cyberbullying, but also the parents need to monitor what their children view online and who they text and chat with. He urges lawmakers to pass anti-bullying laws on the state level.
The National Crime Prevention Council helps people keep themselves and communities safe from crime. It was founded in 1982 to help children, as well as adults recognize crime. The NCPC provides information to parents to talk to their children to stop the cyberbullying. It teaches kids to never give out personal information online, such as their address, passwords and other personal information. It is a great site for teaching kids to stay safe, but also helps parents teach them also. The NCPC suggests that parents keep the computer in a centrally busy location of the house where they can watch and monitor what their children do online. This website is very informative and helpful to both the children and parents and suggests many help ways to stay safe and not be bullied.
Ms. Parry Aftab has founded and runs the oldest and largest cyber safety charity in the world, called WiredSafety. According to Parry, her short definition of cyberbullying is: "When a minor uses technology as a weapon to intentionally target and hurt another minor, it's cyberbullying."2 She writes with parents interests in mind as well as how children and parents can get an education on cyberbullying. Ms. Aftab discusses how schools can get involved and what they can do to help with this problem. She provides many helpful and useful tools to help children and parents deal with cyberbullying. She also uses her legal background to deal with any legal action that may be necessary. Internet safety legal issues take up approximately 90% of Ms. Aftab's time which involves children and protecting them from sex crimes and cyberbullying online. Teaching about cyberbullying and the responsible use of technology is critical. She is in demand as a public speaker, consultant and resource to the media worldwide. Ms Aftab is best known for combining sound practices, the law and the vision of empowering Internet and mobile users to enjoy the Internet safely, privately and responsibly.
In conclusion, bullying is never okay, it creates an intimidating school environment that affects everyone. Cyberbullying hurts, causes children to think about and act on suicide to get out of the hurts. Parents, teachers, lawmakers and states need to take action to put an end to cyberbullying. It is a more serious issue than most people realize, too many children and teens are ending their lives unnecessarily due to being bullied. Even legal action has to take place for some people to get the message. Schools need to education students on the repercussions of cyberbullying and regular bullying. It is a very serious issue that has been going on for many years and needs to stop. Cyberbullying is a hurtful and growing trend that parents, schools and lawmakers need to get more involved in to help put a stop to it.