Bullying Laws Will Prevent Future Suicides
Are you, your friend, or a family member a victim of cyber bullying, and want to put an end to it? Today in our society bullying continues to grow, and the bullies are not being punished. In Jonathon Strickland’s article, “What Should Be Done about Cyber Bullying?” he claims that bullying laws won’t stop bully’s, adult mentoring is needed to change students behavior, and that laws won’t prevent suicides or undue suicides. Although he makes a few good points, I still find myself at disagreement with him. Many students fear being punished. Adults can be perfect role models, but that doesn’t mean kids will want to follow their footsteps. Laws will not bring someone back from suicide, but it sure can prevent suicide from occurring. People do and will break laws, we are not perfect, but nobody should get away with committing a crime.
People question whether laws with consequences against bullies can actually make a difference in today’s issue on bullying. In Jonathon Strickland’s opinion, “Anonymity and distance can inspire people to say and do things online that they would never do in person. I’m fairly sure that laws against cyber bullying won’t change that.” It can inspire people, but it also can strike fear in someone if they know they are being monitored online. If in our society we can create a way to track where the messages come from, which I’m sure our law enforcement is capable of doing, and then I’m positive students would think twice before they hit send. Students often act different at home than at school. At home they try to be who their parents want them to be, while at school they get to be who they want to be. If a bully is thought to be an angel by their parents they could fear being punished in regards of how their parents would react. I know that I always think before I act because the one and only person I am scared of is my mother. I have met many other students who don’t fear administration or authorities, but when it comes to their parents they are afraid. Not everyone is afraid of breaking laws, obviously or else we wouldn’t need law enforcement. When it comes to student though, they majority of them don’t understand the severity of their actions. They think it’s funny, and they think it makes them look tough in front of other students. If they are taught in school about laws on bullying and what the victims suffer, then they will grow up with the knowledge of knowing that bullying is wrong and being afraid to break the law.
As we grow up we are taught that adults have authority over us. Our parents, teachers, doctors, etc. but they can only do so much to mentor us and punish us. I have the greatest parents and have been given everything I ever wanted and/or needed, but that doesn’t mean I’m not capable of becoming a bully. That’s not what I was taught to do, but it’s a personal choice. I could have self-esteem issues that I take out on other girls by trying to make them feel like they’re less than me, or be mad at my best friend and spread a rumor about her, none of which I have ever seen an adult do. Adults should set an example to students of how to act towards other humans, but no one is perfect. I don’t think it’s fair to say that it’s up to adults to mentor students in order to change how students act towards each other. In the end, if a student wants to be a bully there going to do it, no matter what they were taught, and they need to have consequences to face.
I agree that no law will ever bring someone back after committing suicide, but I strongly believe that there are laws that can be made to prevent future attempts at suicide. Victims need to know that society does care about them, and that they are not in this alone. In “Victims Find Little Escape from Cyber Bullies,” by Aaron Levin he mentions, “Kids think that if it’s online, it doesn’t count.” It’s true, it’s so easy to get carried away through a text, email, and instant messages, etc. because you can’t see what damage you’re causing to that person. Especially between friends, they say many things they don’t mean in the moment that they are upset. A student can be sending another student several messages in an hour and not think it’s a big deal, but little does that student know how hurtful they were because by the time they realize it the victim has already cut him/herself, overdosed on pills, or made many other attempts at suicides. The bully can argue that it was never their intention to cause this much damage to the victim, but that is no excuse for their actions. If victims are aware of laws out there to help protect them they could possibly feel more comfortable reporting that they are being bullied, or at least try to seek for help in dealing with the emotions it causes. Laws can help a victim think twice before they go through with taking their own life.
“Bullying is occurring at alarming rates in the U.S and the long-term effects of being bullied can be severe.” (Bullying Statistics and Long-term Effects by National Center for Education Statistics). If there are no laws made against cyber bullying we are going to continue to lose many students, and we will continue to be helpless citizens. Jonathon Strickland said, “I think most legislative approaches to curbing cyber bullying are a waste of time and money.” No, you know what a waste of time is? Sitting here while there are kids out there suffering over bullying, and nothing is being put into action. In many cases, parents don’t even know that there kids are being bullied until it’s too late. Bullying happens every day, and every day there is a kid who feels as if everyone were against him/her. Every day there is a victim who gives up on staying strong and the thought of suicide crosses their mind. If your kid was a victim of bullying wouldn’t you want to have a law that would let him/her know that society does care about him/her? Or would you rather wait until it’s too late, and you’re sitting in your kid’s room holding his/her dead body in your arms?