A high school junior mustered the courage to stand up at a school board meeting and be a voice for cyberbullying targets on Monday.
Her actions should be commended.
The young lady decided she’d endured enough, and she picked a proper time and place to be seen and heard.
If society doesn’t get serious about cyberbullying, it will become an unmanageable monster that sink its teeth into countless vulnerable young people. And the results can be devastating.
It’s a good thing this particular young lady channeled her emotions and rose above her fears to confront the problem head-on.
Did the school do the same?
Cyberbullying, according to dictionary.com, is the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.
A document entitled “Petition to murk,” according to the victim and her family, was created by four girls and a boy on one of the school’s Chromebooks.
Though it was deleted, it was recovered. School officials disputed the nature of the document, saying it was actually a list of “things people don’t like about you.”
Let’s say it was the latter. No matter what age or gender you are, can you imagine laying your eyes on such a list? It would hurt. Now, imagine being a high school female in this day and time. Such a list would absolutely crush you.
If it was, in fact, a “petition to murk,” that’s essentially a list of reasons why one should commit suicide.
Two things need to happen. The first is the truth must be confessed. Why would this high school junior humiliate herself to fabricate such a story? If this indeed was a document suggesting suicide, it’s imperative that school officials say so, because this could prevent something like this from happening in the future.
The punishment must be severe.
It’s common for any school to not divulge the extent of that discipline or release names of those who are guilty, but in order to send a clear message in this instance — and send a clear message in the fight against cyberbullying or any other form of bullying — it should set an example by revealing the severity of the punishment. It surely doesn’t need to release names, but the punishment should be made public in order to avoid more of these instances.
Bullying is serious. When those bullies disparage someone’s life, reducing its worth to a few damning lines on a Chromebook screen, it can’t be taken lightly.
This school must hold its students accountable for their actions.
Good for this student, who is holding her school accountable for its actions.