Punishments for Cyberbullies

By: Anna

Thesis Statement:

Bullying is clearly seen as a violation to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and as a result can escalate to life-threatening situations like suicide, which demands punishment by law.

Graph 1: State Cyberbullying Laws

This graph is titled as "State Cyberbullying Laws". Cyberbullying is when one child attacks another child by using internet technologies. This chart shows how states are dealing with the spread of cyberbullying. The first category has states that have some type of law against cyberbullying. The second category has states that has proposed to current law. The third category has states that has proposed a law. The fourth category has states that do not have any laws against cyberbullying.


Source #1:

In "A Human Rights Issue" by Benard James, Bullying has become a big problem and it is affecting kids' education.


"As a human rights mattter, this is unacceptable. Delaying or interfering with a response to bullying in criminal form is itself a criminal matter and should be seen as an abuse of discretion at best and, at worst, obstruction of justice and a violation of the victim's right to an education" (James). This quote supports my opinion that "cyberbullies should get sentenced to jail" because, it is interfering with childrens' right to an equal education without being distracted or harassed.




Graph 2: Types of Cyberbullying Experienced by 10-18 Years Olds

This graph is titled as "Types of Cyberbullying Experienced by 10-18 Year Olds". This chart shows the percentage of students who have been cyberbullied by different kinds of ways such as online rumors. The first category is "Mean or Hurtful Comments Online" with a percentage of 14.3. The second category is "Rumors Online" with a percentage of 13.3. The third category is "Being Threatened with Harm Through a Cell Phone Text" with a percentage of 8.4. The fourth category is "Being Threatened with Harm Online" with a percentage of 7.2. The fifth category is "Individuals Masquerading as the Victim Online" with a percentage of 6.7. The sixth and last category is "Individuals Posting Mean or Hurtful Pictures of the Victim Online" with a percentage of 5.0. As stated by the Cyberbullying Research Center, "About 20% of the more than 4,400 10-18 year-olds surveyed by the organization reported having been cyberbullied. Cyberbullying can take many forms. Although, it originally was most popular in on online chat rooms, cyberbullying is more common on cellphones and social networking sites, such as Facebook. Supporters of prosecuting cyberbullies argue that the bullies' actions can cause severe psychological problems for their victims, but critics say that schools and parents , not courts should address the problem" (Cyberbullying Research Center).

Source #2:

In "Protect kids--and Speech" by Michael Meyerson, a 15 year old old girl decided to commit sucicide after being miserable at school for months because of bullies.


As stated in Protect Kids and Speech, "The Supreme Court has repeatedy held that threats of violence, such as those banned by Grace's Law, are outside the protection of the First Amendment. So-called "true threats" in which a speaker communicates a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of violence against a particular individual, are simply not a part of the American marketplace of ideas. Intimidation, defined as directing a threat against others with the intent of placing them in fear of their life or safety, is viewed as abusive conduct and is also not shielded by the First Amendment" (Meyerson). This quote supports my opinion about cyberbullies should go to jail because, bullying can put peoples' lifes in danger and immoral acts threats, bomb threats, suicide, lynching, murders of all degrees are severe violations to the law. Cyberbullies should be punished with jail-time.

Graph 3: Lifetime Cyberbullying Victimization Rates- Seven Different Studies 2004-2010

This graph is titled as "Lifetime Cyberbullying Victimization Rates: Seven Different Studies 2004-2010". This graph shows cyberbullying victimization rates that have diversified over a period of six years. Proportions of its prevalence depends on the community regarding the location of where the sample has been taken and also, the location in which the data collected. The graph shows whether students were bullied by classroom/paper, classroom/electronics or online. In June 2004, 40.6 % of students were bullied online. In January 2005, 36.7% of students were bullied online. In May 2007, 18.8% of students were bullied by classroom/paper. In June 2009, 21.5% of students were bullied by classroom/electronics. In later June 2009, 24.2% of students were bullied by classroom/electronics. In November 2009, 28.7% of students were bullied by classroom/ electronics. Lastly, in February 2010, 20.8% of students were bullied by classroom/electronics.


Source #3:

In "Bullying Raises Questions about School's Vigilance" by Denise Lavoie, schools think that they should not report bullying because, they think that the government would be careless with the situation and won't do anything to stop it.


As stated in Bullying Raises Questions About School's Vigilance, “In defense of teachers, very few of them have ever had training on bullying prevention, much less how to intervene without making the situation worse," she said. "Some people don't understand the dramatic and devastating effect that this kind of treatment can have on a child"(Lavoie). This quote supports my opinion because, bullying has become a big issue everywhere and the government is not making enough effort to put a stop it.

Source #4:

In the "U.S. Bill of Rights", lawmakers state that there should be no injustice on people of different religions or beliefs.


"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" (Bill of Rights).

Conclusion:

Cyberbullying is when someone is being mean to you on the internet like posting something cruel about a person on a message board to ruin one’s reputation like name-calling, threats, rude comments, and online hacking. Cyberbullying is when someone is being mean to you on the internet like posting something cruel about a person on a message board to ruin one’s reputation like name-calling, threats, rude comments, and online hacking. Cyberbullying has become a big problem everywhere. Schools, students and parents are debating whether the government should put a stop to the problem or not. But, cyberbullying is clearly seen a a violation to the First Amendment to the United States Consitution.


Works Cited:

James, Bernard. A Human Rights Issue. New York Times. New York Times, 30 Sept. 2010. Web. 4 Nov. 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2010/09/30/cyberbullying-and-a-students-suicide/campus-bullying-as-a-human-rights-issue.



Meyerson, Michael. Protect Kids--and Speech. Baltimore Sun. Baltimore Sun, 21 Apr. 2013. Web. 6 Nov. 2013.

http://sks.sirs.com/cgi-bin/hst-article-display?id=SIL1209-0-9865&artno=0000351216&type=ART


Lavoie, Denise. Bullying Raises Questions about School's Vigilance. Cape Cod Times. Cape Cod Times, 30 Mar. 2010. Web. 7 Nov. 2013.

http://sks.sirs.com/cgi-bin/hst-article-display?id=SIL1209-0-5737&artno=0000301882&type=ART



United States. Cong. United States Congress. The Bill of Rights. 1st Cong., 1st sess. Cong. Bill. Washington, DC: US Congress, 1789. Print. 8 Nov 2013.

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html


Treble, Judy.


Hinduja, Sameer, and Justin W. Patchin. Lifetime Cyberbullying Victimization Rates. Cyberbullying Research Center. Chart. Cyberbullying Research Center, 2010. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. http://www.cyberbullying.us/research.php


Eagle, Jeremy. Types of Cyberbullying Experienced by 10-18 Year Olds. Chart.Facts On File News Services. Infobase Publishing, 2010. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. http://www.2facts.com/PrintPage.aspx