Bullying moves online in internet ageTuesday, June 08, 2010 By Patrice Mardo, California High School
When it came to bullying, the stereotypical geek was pushed into a locker, had to deal with atomic wedgies, and had his lunch taken away. In today's technologically diseased generation, times have changed. In recent news nine teens from Massachusetts have been charged with bullying that led to the suicide freshman Pheobe Prince of South Hadley High School. Within the last decade, cyberbullying has become common in high schools across the country. According to the Stop Cyberbullying Organization, cyberbullying describes the verbal abuse exchanged between persons. It is an easy and quick form of bullying, simply because hurtful words can be sent instantly with a click of a button. At Cal High, students from all classes, girls and boys, feel its abuse. "I was actually cyber bullied a few nights ago. People were [saying rude things] on Formspring," said sophomore Jasmine Scofield. "They wanted me to die for being bisexual." Formspring, a fairly new addition to the cyber bullying world, is a networking website that allows users to post anonymous messages to anyone that has an account. Although it is supposedly predominantly used to ask a user an anonymous question, Formspring has become a hub for hate messages. "[Formspring] just hurts more people," said sophomore Austin Thomas. "People should just delete [their accounts]...now!" Other networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook also have reputations for stirring up cyberbullying hate. "In 8th grade I was bullied on the internet," said freshman Daniela Hernandez. "I just thought it was pointless and immature." Many students feel that people cyberbully because it’s an easier way to bully someone without directly confronting them. "People that cyberbully are too scared to say it in person," said senior Robert Fong. "It’s only when its face-to-face you see what's really up." In most cases, cyberbullying seems to be popular among teen females. "I would guess that more girls do it," said junior Danyelle Moncuse. "But I would also think that everyone does it because it’s human nature." Admittedly, some males at Cal High have also participated in some sort of cyber bullying. "I would just get heated and do it on impulse," said Robert. Cal High administrators say that students who are cyberbullied should never feel afraid to ask for help. "It’s really important that [the student] notify an adult, parent, or supervisor," said Principal Mark Corti. "If one of our students is cyber bullied, it affects the student's performance at school." But teens these days usually find that ignoring it is the solution to any problem. "If someone was to cyber bully me, I'd probably just vent it out to my friends," said Danyelle. "I'd be upset about it, but I don't want to cause drama." Although Cal High has taken action to prevent cyber bullying, most students agree that this disease is unstoppable. "I don't know if it really can be stopped," said Danyelle. "People will always [bully] other people. You can't really stop it."