Exploring Cyber Bullying Articles in Canada
Bullying is a frequent, repeated attempt to destroy another person. It is a very personal attack and can occur at school, at work or in the home. A bully may be someone that you know or can often be a stranger who is impersonating another. Bullies attack because they lack self-confidence, are often victims of drug and alcohol abuse, are extremely aggressive and have poor academic performance. Typically, bullies have highly developed social skills as they have the ability to manipulate and access many different social groups.
Bullying may be difficult to identify. You may think you are the victim of abuse or that the bully is simply having a bad day. To help you identify a bullying incident, The Canadian Council on Learning separates bullying into four categories:
You, your children, and many others, according to the number of cyber bullying articles available on the internet, have been victims of one or more of these types of bullying. Most victims suffer in silence and the bully continues to abuse. Bullying articles are often filled with victim’s feelings of shame or that they somehow “caused” the bully to attack. This is not true! If you or someone you love are the victim of bullying you have done nothing wrong. You are the victim of a malicious individual who delights in causing pain to others.
Possibly the easiest to identify, physical bullying includes such things as:
- Pulling hair
- Pushing down
This type of bullying is seen frequently on school playgrounds. Articles on bullying contain stories of many children being “picked on” for not fitting in with the rest of the students for reasons such as physical height, weight, hair color or intellect. If a student has a mental illness or learning disability, the bully may be even more aggressive at the perceived weakness.
If you see or are the victim of physical bullying, seek help immediately before the situation becomes life-threatening. Do not provoke the bully or retaliate; try to remove yourself from the situation and contact law enforcement professionals.
Relational bullying may fall under the category of childish behavior, or be consider a rite of passage. This type of bullying is not as easy to identify, but articles on bullying that contain relational issues, all revolve around the same theme: social torment. Examples of relational bullying include:
- Excluding one from a social group or clique
- Spreading untrue rumors
- Telling lies in an effort to get others to avoid a person
- Gossiping behind one’s back
- Writing and sending nasty or threatening letters either from one person or a group
Bullying news articles that tell stories of relational bullying often tell tales of this repeated behavior by those who feel superior to another. The person being bullied experiences feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety and suicide. This can lead to isolation and loneliness which can have years of traumatic results. Victims of bullying often require counseling to move past the incident.
Verbal bullying, according to the Canadian Council on Learning, is also fairly easy to identify. This occurs most often in the schools and affects the learning environment. Victims of bullying tend to experience low self-esteem, drug and alcohol use, early withdrawal school, insecurity and aggression. The Canadian Council on Learning worries about the affect these characteristics has on the social and economic status of Canada. An article on bullying by victims of verbal bullying may show experiences such as:
- Calling names
- Imitating in a mocking manner
- Yelling insults
It is a school’s responsibility to provide a safe learning environment; therefore school officials need to have strict policies on how to respond to bullying situations.
Electronic bullying is also known as cyber bullying. Cyber bullying articles show tremendous physical and emotional consequences. The risks for suicide in this category are increased, especially for young teenage girls who are the victims of exploitation. For example, a bullying news article about one Canadian teenager, tells her story of committed suicide after a photograph of her sexual assault circulated through the internet. A cyber bullying article does not have a positive outcome. The bullies hide behind a computer screen or cell phone and manipulate threaten and damage their victims.
Examples of cyber bullying include:
- Sending false e-mails with the victim’s name
- Creating false online personas
- Spreading rumors
- Excluding victims from social groups
- Spreading personal information, pictures or e-mails
- Falsely tagging someone in a picture
Cyber bullying articles tell tales of bullying occurring through many electronic modes of communication such as:
Articles on cyber bullying may be difficult to interpret as bullying. Some Canadian officials agree saying that without physical evidence of bullying, it is harder to prove. Fortunately, Justice Minister Peter MacKay supports the fight against cyber bullying and has proposed a bill to help law enforcement officers track and catch cyber bullies. MacKay states that this cyber bullying law “Would give police a greater ability to investigate incidents of cyberbullying by giving courts the right to seize computers, phones and other devices used in an alleged offence.”
Offenders could spend up to five years in prison if convicted of cyberbullying. The law was originally designed to protect children from predators and fell under the child-porn prevention category, but in 2013 was expanded to include more types of cyber bullying.
Cyber bullying articles were reviewed for a 2005 study that was published in The European Journal of Public Health. Researchers found that students, who were bullied weekly, experienced an increase in headaches, stomach pains, backaches and dizziness. Plus, they were between 1.7 and 7.5 times more likely to feel lonely, nervous, depressed, experience insomnia, fatigue and helplessness.
Unfortunately, Canada has the ninth highest rate of bullying among 13-year-olds, in comparison to 35 other countries. In 2007, adult males and females reminisced about their school years and reported that 38 percent and 30 percent, respectively, were victims of bullying. Parents of school-aged children who had been bullied were approximately 47 percent and 16 percent of this total fell under the “frequent bullying” category.
In the middle school and high school grades between sixth and tenth, 2 to 8 percent of students said they were bullied at least once a week. These numbers could supply the stories that would more than fill a bullying essay. On the other hand, between 4 and 10 percent of this same group of students reported being the bully.
Cyber bullying articles that contain stories of gender confusion, or gay and lesbian victims, are also increasing in number. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research report that those who are not heterosexual are three times more likely to be bullied than their heterosexual classmates or co-workers.
As Canadians age, cyber bullying articles can tell stories of at least 7 percent of the over-18 population, who admit to being cyberbullied at least once in their adult life. 73 percent of this cyberbullying occurred through text messages or threatening e-mails. In the Canadian workplace, 40 percent of workers say they are bullied on a weekly basis.
Canadian bullying essays are written from many different perspectives. Authors can be workers such as nurses who report being bullied in the medical environment. Many bullying articles are written about bullying that occurs on the school grounds. Most of these are from the student’s or parent’s perspective. However, bullying of teachers also occurs as many are berated and threatened by their principals if they do not adjust to current trends. Articles about bullying may also contain cyber bullying stories written by those who have experienced threats, meanness and lies within the internet or social media world.
In an online article about bullying, the story of Canadian Amanda Todd, who was the victim of a two-year cyber bullying saga, ended in suicide. The young girl suffered years of torment, which led to drug and alcohol use and eventually the taking of her own life. Todd’s story which began in 2012 continues into 2014 as reports of her perpetrator being prosecuted continue.
How many more articles about bullying and cyber bullying stories need to be reported before officials put an end to this torment? Children, teenagers, men, and women suffer on a daily basis from this physical and mental torture.
What to do
If you or someone you love is the victim of bullying, consider the following:
- Immediately call the local emergency system if the situation is life-threatening.
- Save all facts for law enforcement such as texts, e-mails, chats, photos, letters or messages.
- Contact the school district if the incidents are occurring at school. Contact your human resource department if you are being bullied at work. Bring your evidence with you.
- Talk to the school’s liaison police officer if possible. Contact your local law enforcement officer it this is not a school bullying situation.
- Talk with the school’s guidance counselor for your child or set up an appointment with a qualified therapist or psychologist for yourself.
- Do not initiate any contact with the bully- do not respond to texts, messages or e-mails.
- Avoid leaving your own electronic trail such as communicating with others via e-mail or posting messages on the internet about your bullying incidents.
- Contact any web-sites and social media administrators to remove any false, ugly, gossiping or malicious postings, videos, images or tags.
- Report the bullying to the involved social media sites.
- Block the bully from your phone, e-mail, social media or gaming systems.
- Ask your phone carrier to block any calls or texts from the bully’s number and also to track all contact from the bully.
- As soon as possible, talk to your local law enforcement for details on how to handle the situation.
Protect yourself from cyberbullying by:
- Not using your last name.
- Do not post the name of your home town.
- Limit the number of pictures you post and avoid posting anything sexy.
- Do not friend those you don’t know, especially if their contact makes you uncomfortable.
- Do not post your phone number, e-mail or other contact information.
- Keep your settings private and only share information with trusted family and friends- those you know will not spread your information or pictures throughout the cyber world.