Stop future cyberbullies after the Rutgers incident

by Mar 20, 2012 3:31 pm Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Julie Myhre is a Spartan Daily staff writer.

The recent trial, Dharun Ravi, former Rutgers University student displays an example of the seriousness of bullying on social media and other forms of technology.

Ravi secretly filmed his former roommate Tyler Clementi as he had a sexual encounter with another man.

Three days after realizing what Ravi did, Clementi killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey.

Ravi was found guilty on Friday of 15 counts of bias intimidation, hate crime, invasion of privacy and many other convictions, according to the Associated Press.

He is not being charged with causing or contributing to Clementi's death, according to the Associated Press.

Ravi could face up to 10 years in prison and possibly deportation to India, but I don’t think that is enough.

What Ravi did was a shocking, spiteful act that would probably make any victim consider taking their own life.

He took advantage of someone because they were different and it made him uncomfortable.

That is not OK.

I remember when I heard about Clementi and remember crying because I couldn’t imagine how embarrassed, alone and ridiculed he probably felt before he decided to take his life.

I can’t imagine having to deal with anything like that.

Just think about it — you are in the privacy of your own room engaging in an intimate moment with your friend or lover.

You think you are alone when in actuality you are being watched and giggled at down the hall.

Ravi chose to bully Clementi when he was vulnerable with his guard down.

I think that makes Ravi a coward.

If you are going to bully someone do it to his or her face.

I was bullied when I was a kid.

I think almost everyone was.

Things are different today because now people like Ravi have the option to do it over social media and use other forms of technology that publicly humiliate a person.

It isn’t just name calling or mean jokes in the school yard like it was for me and many others anymore.

It is using the social media to embarrass someone to the point where they break.

Why would someone think that's OK?

Why do cyberbullies want to ruin people's lives?

According to an article by Psychology Today, bullying can be a result of many personal feelings, but often it is a result of personal insecurities.

Young children and adults need to learn how to deal with their insecurities themselves. Don’t make your problem someone else’s problem just so you can feel better.

Clementi isn’t the only case in which someone took their own life after being bullied.

In January 2010, a 15-year-old Massachusetts girl named Pheobe Prince committed suicide after being bullied online.

She and her family moved from Ireland to County Clare, Massachusetts, where she attended South Hadley High School.

After a couple weeks at the school, Prince began to be bullied on Twitter, Craigslist, Facebook and Formspring, according to an article by the New York Daily News.

She was being called names like "Irish slut" and "whore" on the social networking sites as well as being bullied at school.

Prince hanged herself in her family home.

Another example is 17-year-old New York girl named Alexis Pilkington, who killed herself in March 2010.

She was a soccer star in West Islip, Long Island, and was planning to graduate high school early and earned a scholarship to Dowling College, according to an article by True Crime Report.

Bullies continued to post comments on both Prince's and Pilkington's social media memorial sites that ridiculed them for taking her life, calling her names for not being able to “deal with” the bullying and saying the girls "deserved to die."

What is wrong with people?

When did they become so heartless?

It is saddening to see people so affected by other people’s words and hateful slurs.

There needs to be a stand against cyberbullying before too many young people take their lives.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law last July that allowed schools to suspend students who cyberbully.

That is definitely a step in the right direction, but how can the school track the cyberbullying?

Most kids’ profiles are private, making the information inaccessible unless you are the person’s friend.

I think the main step that needs to be taken to prevent cyberbullying begins in the families.

Parents need to talk to their kids about cyberbullying and track or manage what their children are doing online.

They need to take accountability for their children and teach them how to be open minded so they learn to accept others.

Cyberbullying is a serious issue among many young Americans and Ravi’s sentencing needs to set the tone and example for all other bullies that this is wrong.

The former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi's sentencing needs to set the tone for cyber bullying and show other bullies that what they do is not OK. The former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi's sentencing needs to set the tone for cyber bullying and show other bullies that what they do is not OK. The former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi's sentencing needs to set the tone for cyber bullying and show other bullies that what they do is not OK.

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