Bullying is often a terrifying part of a young person’s life, especially for certain kids. But it seems that the problem has become worse in recent years. Children seem to be participating in acts of bullying on a more frequent basis. Last year, in my local paper I was dismayed to read about numerous cases of kids being attacked by bullies- one boy was set on fire, a young girls head was crushed by a fellow student, a girl was stabbed to death. And with the advent of the Internet and all the various social networking sites like Facebook, bullying has taken a different turn. Just as potentially harmful as physical bullying is what is now being termed as cyber bullying, whereby young people are being targeted through those online forums like Facebook and Twitter.
18-year-old Tyler Clementi committed suicide after some fellow university pals taped his sexual encounter with another male and posted it on Facebook. Phoebe Prince, also committed suicide after being cyber bullied. Though not all cyber stalking/bullying leads to the victims committing suicide, the tormenting can be tremendously painful for those being bullied. Not much is ever done about the perpetrators, but it looks like authorities are now taking a tougher stance, and laws are now being enacted to try to prevent an ever increasing problem. Six teens are on trial for the cyber bullying death of Phoebe Prince. And most recently, two young Florida teens were indicted on felony charges of cyber bullying after creating a Facebook page with fake obscene photos of their victim. 15-year-old McKenzie Barker and 16-year-old Taylor Wynn, of Estero, Florida, took a dislike to a fellow student, and decided to create the page as a joke. But what they posted on the page was far from funny. Pretending it was created by the victim herself, they placed the girls face on a naked pre-pubescent’s body, along with other obscene photos of naked men. Ironically, they used to be friends with the victim. Asked why they did what they did, Taylor Wynn said: “… no one liked the victim and she thought it would be a funny joke to make the Facebook page.” For this “joke” they could get 5 years for felony aggravated counts of cyber stalking. Some might think this is too harsh, but hopefully this will send a message to kids to stop their bullying.