Cyber Bullying

Middle School has just finished up a unit on Cyber Bullying. Each of the classes watched and discussed Episode 1 of Adina’s Deck. All of the classes seemed to enjoy the videos though 6th grade seemed to like it more than the other grades which may have to do with the students in the class more than the video content. I plan to continue using this episode with 6th Grade in future years and plan to purchase other episodes for use later this year or next year with 7th and 8th grades.

After the discussions each class created a project about Cyber Bullying. 6th Grade created a 6-panel comic in Microsoft Word, 7th Grade created a Glog and 8th Grade created a short Public Service Announcement using Animoto. Most of these were completed well and taken seriously (even if their project was done in a humorous way) but it amazes me that some of the students still feel that cyber bullying is no big deal or that it’s okay if you’re just bullying your friends. When did bullying of any kind become okay?

This week Lori Drew was convicted in federal court in Los Angeles in a cyber-bullying trial. She may face 3 years in prison and a $300,000 fine. At this point she hasn’t been sentenced and I’m sure that if she is sentenced to the maximum that she will appeal so who knows what her actual sentence and/or fine will end up being. I just cannot fathom a mother making up a 16-year old boy on MySpace and lying to a teenage neighbor. How can we expect our pre-teens and teens to act appropriately when parents are doing things like this?

I hope that in addressing this issue with the Middle School students in my school that at least they will think before doing anything like this online. I do plan on following up with them in the next week or so about the conviction of Lori Drew in the hopes of reaching those who think it’s no big deal.

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