Monday, April 21, 2014

Bystanders Help Too Late

Bullying is an epidemic that has a long lasting effect on its victims. The US is more aware than ever of the harmful and deadly consequences of neglecting bullying in children from ages 7-16. I have attached a news article of a 12 years old named Rebecca Sedwick who was bullied for months online by girls at her school. Ultimately the cyberbullying lead to her committing suicide. After countless days of coming home from school crying Rebecca's Mother was confident in what could have driven Rebecca to kill herself.

The question now lies in where were her teachers, parents, and other adults who could have noticed and prevented this horrible event from happening. In this case, it may be less about not acting with helping behavior, but perhaps implementing it too late. It is well understood that many times bullying is not noticed because both the victim and inflictors keep it hidden from authority figures. From fear to embarrassment, the reasons for not coming forward with bullying vary from situation to situation. The mother took many steps once it was clear that the online harassment was becoming unbearable. She closed Rebeccas' facebook, filed a bullying complaint, and event switched Rebecca from school.

Unfortunately, with the internet these girls continued to bully Rebecca through social media. Noticing the problem, interpreting the problem, and taking responsibility was doe on the mothers side, but her school unfortunately barely accomplished noticing there was a problem and clearly did not do enough to punish the girls who were inflicting such pain. Rebeccas' mother stated " they just blew it off." On the schools behalf, I believe there should have been a faster response on the bullying compliant that was filed by the mother. There needed to be a faster mediation between the girls and better monitoring of the online bullying.

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