Cyber Bullying Exposed

Hannah Tadey, staff writer

From E-mailing to Tweeting, cyber-bullying affects nearly 50 percent of the youth in America.  Many think that this form harassment is “no big deal” or it is just a joke.  With this said, bullies clearly do not know the trauma that their cyber-bulling has on its victims.

Cyber-bullying has become such a problem in the general public that Illinois passed a law back of January of 2009.   Actually, bullying, harassment, hazing and cyber-bullying laws have been passed in Illinois since the year 2002.  The most recent though, law 105 ILCS 135/1-2, states what cyber-bullying is and what should legally be done if it happens.  The law ‘defines harassment through electronic communications.  The definition includes ‘making any obscene comment, request, suggestion or proposal with an intent to offend,’ and ‘threatening injury to the person or to the property of the person to whom the electronic communication is directed or to any of his family or household members.’  Violation of the provisions of the statue will result in a class B misdemeanor”. 

So in terms easier to understand, the punishment for cyber-bullying is equal to the punishment for criminal trespassing and possession of two and a half to ten grams of illegal drugs.  The punishment includes up to six months in prison, and also a fine of up to $1,500.  Who knew harsh words could be worth so much?

The issue of cyber-bullying has affected nearly one out of two kids in America.  One and three kids have been directly threatened online, yet nothing has been done about it.  Since this has become such an issue, there has been more public websites created as well as media coverage.  According to Make a Difference for Kids, a website to create awareness of the bad happenings of kids in America, if you are being cyber-bullied, three simple steps should be taken.  First, stop talking.  Though one may want to stand up for his or herself, the bully wants his victim to continue to argument.  This will just escalate the problem.  After that, block the person if possible.  Though people think that blocking one another is childish, the “block” button is actually a useful tool when used properly.   Blocking the person will limit their communication.  Finally, tell someone trustworthy.  In the end, it’s not about who’s the tattle-tale, but about what could happen if the problem isn’t stopped.