Essay on We Need Harsh Punishments for Cyberbullying

Essay on We Need Harsh Punishments for Cyberbullying

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The playground bully is a classic figure in the life of children. Shoving, pushing, pinching, name-calling, and dirt-throwing are some of its favorite pastimes. In the modern world, however, bullying is moving to another arena, one much more sophisticated and secretive than the jungle gym. Bullying that takes place online, or cyberbullying, is a growing area of concern among the younger generations. Recent events have thrown cyberbullying, rather unceremoniously, into the spotlight. After being relentlessly tormented online for ten months, Rebecca Sedwick, a twelve-year-old girl from Florida, committed suicide by jumping from the roof of a defunct concrete plant on September 10, 2013. Two teenage girls, Katelyn Roman and Guadalupe Shaw, both older than Rebecca, were charged with felony aggravated stalking upon further investigation into Rebecca’s death. These charges were dropped the week of November 18, 2013, with prosecutors unable to compensate for “a lack of evidence” (Kemp). The controversy over saddling minors with a felony charge caused quite a stir in the media. The correct response to cyberbullying is a growing area of contention. In some cases, criminalization is preferred, while other bullies are slapped on the wrist and grounded for a month. What can be agreed upon is the need for a definitive policy. Cyberbullying, as a burgeoning field of abuse directed specifically at teens, requires direct, speedy, and, perhaps even harsh, measures to curtail the stream of mistreatment flowing freely online.
In order to develop such measures, cyberbullying must be recognizable. The government website dedicated to the prevention of bullying in general offers this definition: cyberbullying is “bullying that takes place using electr...


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Patchin, Justin W., Joseph A. Schafer, and Sameer Hinduja. "Cyberbullying and Sexting: Law Enforcement Perceptions." FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. FBI, June 2013. Web. 2 Nov. 2013.
Slifer, Stephanie. "Rebecca Sedwick Case: Atty Jose Baez Says 12-year-old Accused of Bullying Girl Who Committed Suicide is Being "Bullied by the System"." CBS Crimesider. CBS News, 30 Oct. 2013. Web. 4 Nov. 2013.
---. "Rebecca Sedwick Update: Boy Reported to be at Center of Alleged Bullying Behind Fla. Girl's Suicide Speaks Out." CBS Crimesider. CBS News, 17 Oct. 2013. Web. 4 Nov. 2013.
---. "Rebecca Sedwick Update: Fla. Girls Accused of Bullying 12-year-old Who Committed Suicide Plead Not Guilty."CBS Crimesider. CBS News, 30 Oct. 2013. Web. 4 Nov. 2013.
"What is Cyberbullying." StopBullying.gov. US Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 4 Nov. 2013.

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