Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another Cyberbullying Suicide Comes to Light

One of the things I stress at every presentation I give is to not over react when thing happen on the net such as receiving pornographic or explicit emails. Don't threaten to take away the Internet and realize that this sort of this happens often. Usually it's not because of anything the teen did. There are 40 billion emails sent daily and more than half are spam. Things like this are beyond anyone's control. It's the cost of doing business online. We talk about teaching kids how to deal with things like this and steps they can take to minimize the likelihood that it will happen to their children.

On the other hand, I stress that it's even more not to under react when they come to you about problems about cyberbullying. Last year Megan Meier committed suicide after an Internet relationship turned nasty. It is one tragedy piled on top of another. It appears that her parents gave her the right advice about not reacting to the taunts, but things went wrong. As things turned out the relationship was a hoax and the taunter was the mother of another 13 year old in the neighborhood.

CNN's Anderson Cooper did a segment on it and if I had my way every man, woman, and child in the country would have to view it, and understand that what happened to Megan can and does happen to others. Thousands of kids suffer every day because of cyberbullying. Obviously most do not end in tragedy, but every incident leaves scars.

Police said nothing could be done because no laws were broken. The prosecutor who originally declined to even investigate it, is now taking a second look at it. While it appears that there might not be any laws broken, I'm not sure about that. At the very least I feel there should be some kind of accountability on the part of the mother who faked the MySpace site and caused the incident. She was well aware if the history of bullying and depression that Megan faced. Her actions are inexcusable and she should be held accountable.

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posted by Art @ 10:51 AM   2 comments


At 1:31 PM, Blogger kabi said...

here in india the mother would be charged with (dont know the legal wording) causing a suicide or driving someone to suicide. there is a law here against that.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger Mary Ann said...

This makes me so angry and sad. We tell kids to listen to adults for guidance about smart and safe Internet use and then someone does this. It is beyond the pale. For shame!


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