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Bullying is the antisocial act of arrogance, taunting and general disrespect for the set norms of a society. There are researches that have been done in support of both sides of the story. There are those social scientists that support that bullying is there to stay while others are divergent about the idea, which brings about the great debate on bullying. With technology, traditional forms of bullying have been disguised with the veil of anonymity but in the end, we discover it is still bullying all together.
Bullying might take many forms, for instance, it is bullish behavior for students to be arrogant against the schools administration. It is such mannerisms that have driven violence among students in Santana High School and Columbine Schools (Angier, 2001, p 23-27). It is in schooling institutions that young bullies are bred and nurtured into sociopaths, drunkards, and wife abusers. This, in itself, is a bad habit to learn what disfigures ones personality and character, where those involved in bullying view everyone to be fighting them. Common forms of bullying include threatening behavior, name calling, ridicule, sneering, jeering and punching.
Many legislators have put up a spirited fight against hooliganism and bullying in schools. Governor Bill Owens of Colorado for example has set up a stance against bullying by passing legislations on implementation of anti-bullying programs in state schools. This is enough evidence that there is still bullying in the modern internet era. Furthermore, some games have been associated with promoting bullying because they make students hyper-aggressive. There is a call by the schools’ heads to ban such game as dodgeball, also called the killerball.
In addition, it is almost impossible to stamp out bullying among children, especially, when they are driven by stages of growth. Professor Richard J. Hazler, who lectures counselor education at Ohio University supports this verdict that bullying is here to stay because the world is ruled by Darwinism theories of survival for the fittest, where only the strong will survive. Another assistant professor from the University of Illinois called Philip C. Rodkin supports that the causal agent for bullying is a mystery, since bullying has always been there in our society.
In disagreement, some researchers continue to support that cases of bullying have been on a downward path since the advent of technology, which marked the 21st century. The researcher narrates that during his time in boarding schools bullying was more rampant than it is today, stating that ''It certainly was a problem when I was in boarding school, but that was ages ago''. Professor Richard Dawkins of Oxford University cited a poem called “Summoned by Bells” to illustrate how bad the situation was in the 1960’s.
Bullying has changed tremendously over the past years. Recent research has shown that bullies are popular among their peers. Likely, the trend of bullying has evolved due to peer influence where some kids cheer bullies with the aim of seeking acceptance into the peer cliques. This research was conducted by an Assistant professor dealing with child development, Laura Hess Olson of Purdue University.
According to this research, bullying is no longer termed as antisocial because the modern bullies are not as common as the teacher’s pets in learning institutions. Other students at times see bullying as cool, especially if done by kids, they think they have great looks and sports ability. In some circumstances, bullying is supposed to make the victims stronger and teach them laudable behaviors. It is logical that there will still be some sorts of bullying because the adults still practice them and governments too are not an exception. It has commonly been alleged that America bullies other countries due to its superpower status and that is how bullying is rampant with the advent of the internet.
Practically, the internet has fostered bullying where anonymous internet users are updating anti-social contents that are likely to propagate hate among classmates, neighbors, coworkers and other media users. Many people are fighting to remain anonymous as a way of protecting intellectual freedom but in the end, the result is high practice of bullying. As a control measure for online bullying, the idea of anonymity should be embraced while handling online discussions and online speeches. But there is a risk that the anonymous internet users may start violent behavior with their use of words.
A case of cyber-bullying was first reported in 2006 by Megan Meier, a thirteen year old from St. Louis. It started as friendship on MySpace - an international social network just like Facebook, Tweeter, or Skype. Their online friendship lasted for six weeks before Josh Evans posted something that disgusted the young girl and made her to hang herself. The message was evidently a form of psychological torture to the girl because she least expected that from a ‘good’ friend. The message was as follows, "The world would be better place without you".
Later on, it was discovered that the so - called Josh was a fictitious name, and the real name of the bully was Lori Drew, their neighbor and a mother to a girl with whom Meier had disagreed with. The law, applied in the case by the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department, was so biased so it favored Mrs. Lori, despite her impersonation (Keen, 2000, p. 24). The way forward for such cases would be imposing heavy fines on the culprits to discourage them and act as an example to others.
Meier’s suicide has been a case of concern to many officials who are demanding that the anonymous internet users should be held accountable for their misconduct.