The younger generation has a lot to contend with when it comes to socialization. Most of the youngers are too innocent to realize they are being set for a trap. With the rise and overuse of technology children predators lay in wait, to exploit the innocent children through social media which has now become the norm in terms of communication (Hinduja & Patchin, 2014). Bullying takes many forms including physical, psychological and mental. Some forms may come in as innocent but in the end leave fatalities that could have been otherwise been avoided. Cyberbullying is what most people experience without noticing or even realizing. In the case of Amanda Todd, she just like many American youths, was cyberbullied coupled with physical and emotional torture to the point of her committing suicide.
Amanda Todd having used the social media with reference to Facebook as a means to meet new friends, she was bound to meet a lot of people. These people would have turned out to have forged good friendships, but this also opened the channel through which malicious minded people could reach her. Amanda was subjected to cyberbullying because of the electronic link that enabled the predators to reach her. Facebook was the pathway through which Amanda was bullied. The guy who kept tormenting her was online. She was also physically bullied by fellow students as well as the girlfriend of the guy he slept with by being beaten and pushed to a ditch where she was later found by her dad.
Being a young person Amanda was humiliated by the fact that her nudes were circulating on the internet. She could not make any friends in the schools she was transferred to because of the issue of her tormentor befriending her schoolmates anonymously. Amandas psychological torture affected her school grades in that her academic performance kept on dropping despite changing schools. She also started experiencing anxiety which later developed into depression coupled with panic disorder as a result of being sexually exploited by a total stranger. In order to cope with the multiple bullying both on the web and people surrounding her especially classmates, Amanda opted to indulge in alcohol and drugs as a means to forget or suppress her feelings. As a result of being physically abused and insulted by a girlfriend to her former guy friend, she attempted to commit suicide by taking bleach. Luckily she did not die thus was rushed to hospital and her stomach was pumped. Another way through which the Todd family tried to cope was relocating to new towns and cities as a way of keeping these nasty happenings in the past.
People are different in their approaches towards life and the challenges they tend to face. When it comes to bullying there are an array of strategies that related authorities can implement to curb the issue from reoccurring. In the case of Amanda Todd, the parents could have taken the issue serious and gone to the authorities and filed a complaint, through which the cybercrime unit could have traced down the culprit blackmailing the youngster. The teachers too could have taken action against the students trying to bully Amanda as a lesson to prevent others following suit. Following her posting the video on the internet seeking help, the authorities should have followed up on the case before it was too late. The parents could as well have monitored Amandas every move especially when she showed signs of severe depression and afterwards.
Sidelining of certain people who were termed unpopular was evident during high school. Thus in order for one to fit in, students were mandated to carry out certain duties. This still applies even today in some high schools. Sometimes teachers would request for certain favors for one to get good grades. On the other side, these times whereby technology is more advanced, cyberbullying, emotional and psychological bullying is the order of the day. Social media is the order of the day; schoolmates tend to blackmail others into giving into their orders. There is an array of factors that engineer the issue of bullying in schools. For instance, the social status of individuals makes people feel superior, thus look for other students with lower social status to work for them. Some of the students have low self-esteem thus look for avenues in which they can fit in.
Bullying prevention programs work hand in hand with the co-principals that would help in the implementation the laid down strategies, these includes parents, teachers, authorities. The prevention programs are very handy because of the aspect of working on the issue before it becomes a crisis. Educating the parents and teachers on the early tell-tale signs of a child being bullied and dealing with the symptoms as early as possible. Parents to be taught on ways through which they can help develop their childrens self-esteem, because youths with a high self-esteem are not easy to be bullied. Authorities too need to be in the loop of what is happening on the ground with the youths, through monitoring the cases reported regarding certain bullying issues. Stringent measures need to be put in schools such as severe punishment be levied on those students found to be bullying others despite the age or grade.
Bullying is real and has dire consequences if it goes unchecked as seen in the case of Amanda Todd. Before we lose more youths into bullying we need to scrutinize the issue ad handle it before it escalates into a crisis (Hamm, et al. 2015). For all the stakeholders, it is essential to look for all the possible signs and deal with them, these includes, parents, teachers, as well as the authorities.
Hamm, M. P., Newton, A. S., Chisholm, A. et al. (2015). Prevalence and effect of cyberbullying on children and young people: a scoping review of social media studies. JAMA pediatrics, 169(8), 770-777
Hinduja. S., & Patchin, J. W. (2014). Bullying beyond the schoolyard: preventing and responding to cyberbullying. Corwin Press
Kowalski, R. M., Giumetti, G. W., Schroeder, A. N., & Lattaner, M. R. (2014). Bullying in the digital age: A critical review and meta-analysis of cyberbullying research among youth.
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