November 11, 2012
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among students and young adults. Bullying causes over 4,000 deaths amongst students and young adults. Not everyone realizes how serious bullying is or how harmful it can be. More people need to be informed on what bullying is, how bullying differs as children grow up, the effects of bullying, how bullying has changed and how bullying can be prevented. There are many ways a bully can be described or characterized, “A bully is someone who is regularly overbearing. He or she looks to cause humiliation or discomfort to another, particularly if that other is weaker or smaller. This can be physical bullying, emotional bullying or mental discomfort and humiliation.” (Bullying Statistics) In today’s society there are many different forms and ways that make it easy to be a bully. When people think of bullying they generally think of physically hurting someone, or getting in a fight, but bullying goes beyond physical and into verbal. Verbal bullying is a common method with girls, because it’s more subtle but not any less damaging. Verbal bullying can lead to bad self-image, low self-esteem and depression. Physical bullying is still a bad issue, and can include: hitting, pushing, tripping, kicking, slapping, spitting and stealing. Physical bullying could also cross the line of sexual assault or harassment. Cyber bullying is one of the newest most used bullying methods today. Cyber bullying is when a child or teenager is harassed, embarrassed, threatened or tormented using digital technology. The point of cyber bullying is to make someone feel bad about themselves using technology, usually through a computer, social network, cell phone or pictures. Cyber bullies generally have the same traits as a bully, or could be someone that is bullied in real life and returns the act using technology, because it makes them feel more powerful. There are many facts about cyber bullying that people do not know. Over forty three percent of kids have claimed to be cyber bullied, and every one out of four of those kids say it has happened more than once. Not just bullying has occurred online, but one in three students say they have experienced threats online. Over eighty percent of teens have a cell phone and use it regularly, making cell phones the most common and easiest way to cyber bully. Girls are twice as likely to get cyber bullied and cyber bully as boys are, and over ninety percent of students will not report it to an adult. Cyber bullying can be very cruel and lead to terrible conclusions, such as it did in Megan Meir’s life. When Megan Meir was in middle school, she had a MySpace page with her parent’s consent. A couple weeks before Megan turned fourteen, a cute boy had sent her a friend request. The request was sent from a sixteen year old boy, Josh Evans, who claimed to be sixteen and home schooled in a nearby town of Megan. They automatically formed an online friendship and were non-stop messaging for a month on MySpace. Soon the promising online friendship turned into cruel messages and hateful insults, which concerned Megan’s mother, Tina. Tina called the police to see if they could find out if the page was actually being run by this Josh Evans, but they couldn’t. Soon after Josh started sending messages saying “I can’t be friends with you, because you’re not very nice to your other friends” and posting bulletins saying things like “Megan is fat” and “Megan is a whore” When Megan started receiving these messages at random, it was too much for her to handle and she already had a history of depression. On October 16th, 2006 Tina Meir found her daughter Megan’s body in her bedroom after she hung herself. Six weeks after Megan’s tragic death, her parents found out the truth behind the alleged Josh Evans. He didn’t exist. The MySpace page was actually being run by a girl and her mother that were neighbors of the Meirs. Megan’s parents found the most...
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