Technology Breeds New Type of Bullying

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

news 4's vanessa araiza has been researching this today.
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she joins us live from our newsroom with more.
vanessa?
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reg, recently a rutger student committed suicide after being secretly videotaped by his roommate.
the failed live feed was intended to reveal the victim's sexual orientation on a social network.... it now has many questioning how to stop the negative words created through these networking sites.
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“You’re fake, you act white, curse words, intimidating words that I wouldn't want to repeat," said Lawrence Keener Sr. with Alfred Saliba Family Services.

These are the messages Keener's high school daughters are receiving .

Face to face bullying is being replaced by hurtful words and the click of a mouse.

“In cyber bullying you don't physically have to do anything, you don't have to be 6 foot tall or if somebody’s 4 foot tall, all you have to do is be strong enough and come up with something outrageous to say and send it to someone," said Keener.

While it takes just seconds to send a malicious message it could take a lifetime to heal the wounds.

A few years back, Keener says a local teen sent her boyfriend a text saying she was done with him.

Those few words led to the boyfriend hanging himself from a basketball hoop.

“It’s just, it's sad, I just hope we don't have to keep losing the lives of our young people before something does get done," said Keener.

Michelle Little counsels more than 500 students at Girard Middle School.

She says about 90 percent of them have Facebook pages.

“Everybody just uses it in their way to make it embarrassing to someone, to belittle or threaten, get even type thing," said Little.

Little says 30 percent of Girard Middle School parents have filed harassment reports associated with social networking sites.

Unfortunately, Little says there is not much the school can do about the growing problem.

“We can't keep them from doing it, they're going to do it and anything you say is forbidden you know they want to do it but i think we need to monitor them and help them,” said Little.

Unfortunately, there are no hard laws to enforce punishments on these bullies who threaten the victims.

Keener says District Attorney Doug Valeska is working on defining consequences for these actions.

Girard Middle School has held seminars for parents to learn more about technology and stopping the harassment.

The school is no longer offering them because of low turnout.


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