“When Anat, mother of a 15-year-old Dana, told her good friend about how her daughter was being CyberBullied on social media, the mom and her friend were outraged. Dana’s classmates created an Instagram page just so that they could make fun of her. Dana got off of all social media, never uses her phone, and doesn’t ever want to leave her room. The mother even described how her “daughter had been suffering from all the threats” (Israeli Government). Even after 2 years, people are still being CyberBullied on social media and other online platforms. People don’t have much care for the people who just want to enjoy their life. Although CyberBullying has become a bigger threat to society, officials have also come up with better ways to deal with cyberbullying. CyberBullying affects teens in a negative way. CyberBullying has a big negative impact on people even though there are newer ways to deal with it.
CyberBullying affects a teen’s mental health in a negative way. The amount of people who get depression or anxiety from CyberBullying shows just how much the issue is being taken care of. Law enforcement is trying to lower the numbers of cyberbullying but it doesn’t always work out. According to medLinePlus.gov, “Research suggests that children and youth who are bullied over time are more likely than those not bullied to experience depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. They also are more likely to be lonely and want to avoid school. There are many ways that parents and youth-serving adults can help prevent or address bullying.”(StopBullying). Bullying has been shown to have a serious negative effect on teens who bully and teens who are bullied. Teens can get depression because of them being bullied. Teens have also been known to get anxiety from bullying. Some of these problems can even last into their adulthood and scar them for the rest of their lives. This was shown in NCBI(National Center of Biomedical Information) when they did experiments with a bunch of kids. They would ask the kids questions once a year after the school year is over. People are feeling horrible because people are looking down on themselves. They think they aren’t really worth anything. They have these feelings of depression, anger, lowered self-esteem, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide, These people need the help that they deserve but aren’t getting it. They would list down anything that the kids reported like “the development of negative affective disorders, loneliness, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and somatic symptoms”(NCBI). They also found that girls on average were a little bit more likely to be CyberBully than others and that men were almost twice as likely to bully someone. They came to the conclusion that. Even some people who bully others are being bullied themselves. According to MedlinePlus the main reason for bullying might be having troubles at home like violence. It also seems that people who bully do it because they are being bullied or they have friends who bully others and just want to fit in. Bullying is more serious than before since everybody is on their devices. People who end up with mental health issues from the bullying sadly feel like they are alone and they can’t do anything. Especially with the recent events of covid and the Russia-Ukraine war the number of people with depression and anxiety is on the rise. People who are bullied need to suffer through the bullying because there isn’t always someone to help them when they are in trouble. People have even committed suicide to try to get rid of the pain. They don’t talk to anyone because they think they’re alone and that they are a burden to everyone they talk to. People who cyberbully sometimes tell others to kill themselves. When they do that they are hurting the person. When a person commits suicide because of those messages it goes against (720 ILCS 512-34.5) which is otherwise known as an inducement to omit suicide. That just means that if you help someone or blatantly tell them to kill themselves and they commit suicide then they can be charged with inducement to commit suicide. When one purposely gets someone to commit suicide it is a class 2 felony (3-7 years prison and $25,000 fine). There are many specifics that I could go over but I won’t the thing is police take things like this very seriously. That is why it hurts to see on the news that someone committed suicide because of bullying or harassment. People are harassed and bullied and are never actually helped sometimes even though they reported it. Bullying is something massive that hurts teens' lives all the time and they never seek help because they think they’re alone.
Another way that bullying can affect your health is your physical health. “According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, in 85 percent of mass shootings that occurred, someone knew something before the event took place. These signs range from social media posting to observed signs of distress” (Safe2HelpIL). This is one of the sadder effects that can happen from bullying. People can get physically injured. Not just from themselves but they can also get injured by other people, as a result of bullying. There are also people who harm themselves or even worse, commit suicide. This is one of the many reasons that people should be nice to others. There was even a woman named Hana Kimura who committed suicide after a lot of cyberbullying on social media by an unnamed Japanese man. The man was caught but released from police custody after paying a $81 fine. When a person gets bullied they can also experience things like anxiety and depression. These both can lead to things like panic attacks, PTSD, acute stress disorder, dissociative disorder, etc. According to MedlinePlus people who are bullied can develop “Depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. These problems sometimes last into adulthood, Health complaints, including headaches and stomachaches, Lower grades and test scores, Missing and dropping out of school (MedlinePlus).” These types of problems can ruin a person's life because of the fact that they may be scared to even go outside. “The amount of CyberBullying, online harassment, etc have been more frequent. A total of 33 eligible articles from 26 independent studies were included, covering a population of 156,384 children and young people. A total of 25 articles (20 independent studies, n=115,056) identified associations (negative influences) between cyber victimization and self-harm or suicidal behaviors or between perpetrating cyberbullying and suicidal behaviors. Three additional studies, in which the cyberbullying, self-harm, or suicidal behaviors measures had been combined with other measures (such as traditional bullying and mental health problems), also showed negative influences (n=44,526). A total of 5 studies showed no significant associations (n=5646). Meta-analyses, producing odds ratios (ORs) as a summary measure of effect size (eg, ratio of the odds of cyber victims who have experienced SH vs nonvictims who have experienced SH), showed that, compared with nonvictims, those who have experienced cyber victimization were OR 2.35 (95% CI 1.65-3.34) times as likely to self-harm, OR 2.10 (95% CI 1.73-2.55) times as likely to exhibit suicidal behaviors, OR 2.57 (95% CI 1.69-3.90) times more likely to attempt suicide, and OR 2.15 (95% CI 1.70-2.71) times more likely to have suicidal thoughts. Cyberbullying perpetrators were OR 1.21 (95% CI 1.02-1.44) times more likely to exhibit suicidal behaviors and OR 1.23 (95% CI 1.10-1.37) times more likely to experience suicidal ideation than nonperpetrators”(NCBI). The stats shown here are stats that we don’t want to see. That’s because people who get bullied are 2.35 times more likely to do self-harm, 2.10 times more likely to exhibit suicidal behavior and many more numbers. These are numbers that would hurt anybody to see that people are being bullied and are becoming at least 2 times more likely to harm themselves or to have to suffer because of someone else’s insensitivity. The fact that these types of statistics are made after studies and yet people still are just ignoring these and don’t act upon it very often as an appalling fact. People are suffering physically because they are cutting themselves on the arms or the legs or even the wrists, throat, or face is a painful thing to hear. We want to hear all the good things like when a cyberbully is caught or when a person who has made people commit suicide is still roaming the streets carefree because nobody is even looking for him is a painful but true fact. People get away with stuff like this all the time and nobody seems to mind until someone actually commits suicide. These days people just ignore the signs of distress given by people and decide that everything will just be okay since they are fine. Nowadays there are more people who are selfish and don’t care when others are hurting or even hurting themselves. People don’t even seek any sort of counseling or help from a professional or a trusted adult because they may be in too much pain to want to talk about it or even stop trusting all people because they think that everyone is just going to hurt them. They lost all the good experiences in the world and might even think that the only way to make all their pain stop is to commit suicide. This is something that shows us how bullying does affect people not just mentally but physically too.
Bullying has also led to many advances in anti-bullying help. In Illinois, they proposed the “Anti-Bullying Task Force Grant Program which must include these things. A Chair is the one that runs the program, at least one teacher from an elementary school and secondary school selected, at least one school administrator, at least one parent who has a child that goes to that school, at least one k-12 student, at least one guidance counselor, at least one child psychologist, at least one school psychologist, at least one paraprofessional, at least one lawyer, at least one representative from an organization that supports services to students who identify as part of the LGBTQ community, professionals who specialize in providing support services to students who identify as part of the LGBTQ community, at least one individual from the state education agency office focused on school improvement and school climate, and additional individuals, as determined by the chair of the task force”(Rep. Krishnamoorthi, Raja [D-IL-8]). This shows us how people are trying to take action to prevent bullying. Even though this law has still only been introduced recently (01282021) it still shows us that people really are trying to prevent bullying. All U.S. states have laws that protect people from being bullied and all students have a school counselor or a school social worker that they can talk to about being bullied. Not all but most states even have laws that also have specifics to CyberBullying. The only 2 states that don’t have specific references to cyberbullying in their laws are Alaska and Wisconsin. Another way that you’re being supported is by things like Safe2HelpIL.com. This is the law that says that it must be created LINK. Safe2HelpIL was made by the Illinois government so that people can report things like abuse, bullying, suicidal thoughts, depression, and more to help the people who are suffering through these things. They have 5 ways to contact them. I made a quick website just for listing the different ways and will link it HERE. Another thing that helps students with anti-bullying is that schools are required by law to investigate and help in any way when they get a complaint about bullying or harassment. According to StopBullying “ Schools must be an active participant in responding to harassment and should take reasonable steps when crafting remedies to minimize burdens on the targeted students. Appropriate responses will depend on the facts of each case and may include: developing, revising, and publicizing; Policy prohibiting harassment and discrimination; Grievance procedure for students to file harassment complaints; Contact information for Title IX coordinators and others responsible for compliance with Section 504 and Title VI; Training staff and administration on how to identify, report, and address harassment; Providing monitors or additional adult supervision in areas where harassment occurs; Determining consequences and services for harassers, including whether discipline is appropriate; Limiting interactions between harassers and targets; Providing targeted student an additional opportunity to obtain a benefit that was denied (e.g., retaking a test class); and Providing services to a student who was denied a benefit (e.g., academic support services). Schools don't have to wait until behavior creates a hostile environment to act and may respond to misconduct based on a protected class as soon as they learn of it”(StopBullying.gov). This shows exactly how schools must prepare all of the students and staff on how to deal with bullying. This explains how school anti-bullying policies have been getting better over time. People are being helped by schools to resolve reports like bullying, CyberBullying, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, etc. This also shows us how schools have been trying to help the students who are dealing with harassment, bullying, and the pain that they have to feel because of everything. People in schools like administrators and people higher up try to work with law enforcement when they need to. When a harassment complaint is made to a school then it must be investigated. They even get law enforcement involved when it is something that is extreme. People have been arrested and charged because they harassed a student or bullied them. Then there is also the fact that there are protected groups. People who are bullied because they are part of LGBTQ, a specific religion, a skin color, etc and can even be charged with more crimes including some types of felonies. There are also laws like Sec. 27-23.7. Bullying prevention law. In this law, they explain how bullying is defined. Schools have been trying many things to try and stop the amount of harassment and bullying in schools. Schools have tried and tried over and over again but schools can’t seem to succeed half the time. People are trying to stop bullying all the time but seem to be failing. This is due to the fact that people think they are anonymous just because they’re on the internet. Schools and law enforcement should have people who specifically deal with cyberbullying and school harassment complaints. People also have Title IX and Title VI to communicate with. Title IX is about how people have to include people no matter their sex if the place is federally funded. Title IX protects people who are of all races, color, and national origin are protected from discrimination. There are a total of 9 titles that I found that protect people who are in a federally funded place from being discriminated against. This shows how much the U.S. Department of Education cares for the safety of the people who live here. The law is changing for the positive to try and help the people who were harassed and bullied. People want to help out sometimes because families are also affected by it. This way people know that they always have someone to report it to.
Although bullying has many negatives like the negative effects it can make on your health. Bullying has hurt many people and has also taken many from this earth. Even with all these negatives law enforcement and communities have tried to stop bullying and harassment. People have tried many times to stop bullying and harassment without success. But that’s why law enforcement has to get involved in matters like these sometimes and sometimes even ends in things like worldwide manhunts. People should be making improvements in trying to stop bullying and harassment. Schools should be educating students to not harass or bully others. They should teach them that bullying and harassment is wrong. But why isn’t the law stricter on harassment and bullying? Shouldn’t they try to help more often rather than give the job to the little person who has no influence on anybody? People get harassed and bullied in schools and at their jobs and it can go either unnoticed or ignored for years. Bullying and harassment in itself is something that is very negative and sometimes even get people to do the same and mistreat others.