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Friday, July 2, 2010

Parenting & Education Are the Best Bet Against Cyberbullying
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A recent New York Times article once again brings up the issue of cyberbullying and the appropriate response by schools and parents.
Schools these days are confronted with complex questions on whether and how to deal with cyberbullying, an imprecise label for online activities ranging from barrages of teasing texts to sexually harassing group sites.
Various attempts have been made to either institute criminal law punishing cyberbullies or to educate and build awareness of the problem. When the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary's Crime Subcommittee held hearings last September on cyberbullying and two competing legislative responses (criminalization and education), PFF's Berin Szoka and Adam Thierer filed extensive written testimony arguing that the best way to protect children from bullying is to educate both the students and their parents about the dangers of online bullying as well as the steps that can be taken to prevent it.
The reason educational-based approaches are so vital is because they can help teach kids how to behave in--or respond to--a wide variety of situations. Education teaches lessons and builds resiliency, providing skills and strength that can last a lifetime.
If anything, the Times article shows that parents and school administrators are taking an increased interest in their children's activities online, as well as the steps that can be taken to protect them. If Congress needs to "do something," it should facilitate parenting and education efforts, rather than encroaching upon free speech rights or making teen-on-teen cyberbullying a felony offense, thus branding young people forever for mistakes made in their youth.

posted by Zach Breig @ 1:58 PM | Online Safety & Parental Controls

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The problem is the government continues to be naive. Cyberbullying is at an all-time high and if you think telling parents to "educate their kids" is all that needs to be done, you are kidding yourself. First, not all parents are involved parents. Second, kids are much more technologically minded that many adults are which means they will continue to go on the internet and sometimes inappropriate sites without parents knowledge. The problem is there are companies that PROFIT from people being attacked such as the company, Topix, LLC. Their forums are unmoderated which means anyone can be attacked immediately and the company is making money off of it without restrictions. Libel is a crime but companies like Topix and others are allowed to get away with it. I hate to say it but there are going to be more children and maybe adults committing suicide over evil companies who have no accountability. Yes, we should educate our children and anything that is potentially harmful to them, but other steps need to be taken as well.

Posted by: Tina at July 3, 2010 9:12 AM

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