Thursday, February 2, 2017

CIS185 - Cyberbullying

Technology has advanced at a much faster pace than ethics has been able to match.  One result is that cyberbullying has become a prevalent problem in our society.  Although offenders are most often teens or younger, adults do also participate and bully other adults or juveniles.  It is much easier to say nasty things about others when one doesn't have to say it face to face, leaving individuals to believe they are safe from consequences.  Although some would argue that freedom of speech lets individuals say whatever they wish, I would disagree.  Long before the internet came into being, we had laws against libel and slander that protect people from having their reputation deliberately and falsely attacked. 

While I believe schools have a duty to report to parents or other authorities any information they receive about cyberbullying, the responsibility ultimately should lie with parents and the person doing the bullying.  Parents of both the person being bullied and the person(s) doing the bullying should be notified immediately.  If parents do not take appropriate steps to change the behavior of the juvenile, or if those steps are ineffective, then I think it is appropriate for school authorities and the parents of the person being bullied to take further steps to protect the individual and solve the problem. 

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