NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.- As the spring 2012 semester comes to an end, the current Scarlet Scroll staff would like to leave our readers with various articles that have been an impact on them. We all decided that we needed to write articles that would raise awareness on a topic that deserves to be in people’s minds, and the topic we have chosen is cyber bullying.
Bullying isn't something new those in our age groups and our news demographic. After all, didn't we all know someone during our secondary education who was famous for picking on freshman or trying to hurt someone's self esteem. Not to make light of the trauma that childhood bullies can and still do cause, many can relate to dealing with the characters like Nelson Muntz, Jimbo Jones, Dolph Starbeam and Kearney Zzyzwicz from the long-running TV show "The Simpsons." And bullies aren't relegated to the playground--it happens in college dormitories, the blue and white collar workforce and social circles.
Videos gone viral have exposed traditional bullying, in addition to fights fueled by social media spats (and don't pigeonhole these incidents to Facebook and Twitter-- social media sites such as U.K.'s Bebo and dating site Match.com have also had isolated incidents (which opens another can of worms--is cyber stalking a form of cyber bullying?). In some cases, parents have encouraged the behavior sparked by social media feuds. Athletes and entertainers trade barbs with their fans (and fans retaliate) and rivals. And sports rivalries have entered a new landscape of insults and offensive personal insults.
One viral video recently released, shows an student from Australia standing up to a bully. While he was praised by many for his actions, the situation has been criticized for having a "two wrongs don't make a right" mentality.
Every day, groups of all ages, sexual orientation, ethnicities and genders are attacked and called racial slurs on websites and social networks. People who lack certain abilities and functions are ostracized. The World Wide Web grants its users the ability to become anonymous, thus encouraging more creative and direct ways to bully. But, as Rutgers University students, cyber bullying couldn't hit any closer to home.
In September 2010, Rutgers student Tyler Clementi committed suicide by jumping off of the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey to New York, after his roommate, Dharun Ravi streamed on the internet footage of Clementi have intimate relations with another man. Ravi was recently found guilty on 15 counts, including bias intimidation and invasion of privacy.
Each Scarlet Scroll staff writer worked hard to cover various aspects of cyber bullying and we hope that you read the articles presented in the Cyber Bullying section.
For direct access to the articles, you can click on the following links:
Are creators of social media websites protecting users against cyber bullying?
The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights becomes a funded mandate, but will it be enough?
The pros and cons of cyber bullying laws
The "It Gets Better" campaign still going strong over year later
‘South Park,’ Cartoon Network, ‘Bully’ spotlights cyber bullying
Cyber bullying causes serious mental problems in victims
Fighting bullying on Facebook is about education, experts say
National station broadcasts complete coverage of cyber-bully trial
Racism and bullying: Partners in crime
Despite clear guidelines, NJ university strives to improve anti-bullying rules
Follow Jose' Rodriguez on Twitter @joserr1190 or follow his blog at http://holaminombreesjose.blogspot.com.