Bullying goes online - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Bullying goes online

Intimidation no longer limited to playground, school hallways

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Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - The image is of a smaller kid getting shoved into a locker.

Not anymore.

While bullying has been around since school itself, today's kids face a whole new cyber world of how students can pick on other students.

Thanks to social media, like Facebook and Twitter, and the constant way it keeps people connected, bullying today doesn't end when the school day does.

Nor is it reserved for physical confrontations in the hallway.

Instead, it's words and taunts online, where they can stay forever.

"It used to be all in school and it stayed in school," said Kaylee Jahns, Lake City High School senior "Now it's all the Internet outside of school and kids are feeling ... helpless, I guess, because they don't know who to go to because it's not during school."

The cyber-age of bullying has come to the front of the country's conscience in the last few years after high profile cases of teenagers committing suicide as the result of online badgering.

Student suicides have hit home, too, showing bullying is a local issue as much as a national topic.

"It's a huge issue," said Karlynn Welch King, LCHS senior, taking part with her fellow classmates in the school's Anti Bullying theme for spirit week for homecoming. "I definitely think there's a lot more bullying prevention happening now, but there needs to be more. It needs to be taught from grade school up. Not just a few assemblies a year, but a program."

National statistics show one in four students are bullied, said Nichole Thiel, student adviser.

And with it less in the hallways and more on the computer, it can be difficult for faculty at schools to know which students are feeling pressure.

But students are working on the problem. One idea LCHS kids shared Monday - the first day of national Anti-Bullying Month - they want to go into elementary schools and teach kids early it's not OK to bully. The message might be better received if delivered by high school kids, because younger students are often more impressed with older kids than they are adults.

"It's a mindset," said Izaiah Dolezal, senior, on why people gang up on others. "All the sudden, you have to go inside someone's mind and change that, and that's really hard to do."

But something must be done, they said. The school's recently re-activated program where upperclassmen mentor underclassmen should help implement the idea that all students are in it together.

"To bully someone to the point they want to kill themselves is really sad," said Natalie Horn, freshman.

They're not naive, though, they know it's an uphill battle. Especially when they look at how some celebrities behave toward one another, and even how some adults bully others online on blogs or comment sections on stories - it's a learned behavior, after all.

"Some students believe it's OK to criticize the way they see it being done out in the world," Jahns said.

If they can start by reaching one student at time, then it can spread, they said. It's the start that's most important.

"Those reach-outs can open people's eyes," Jahns said. "Once they have an open mind about it, then it'll start changing. It may not be now and as immediate as it should be, but it will change over time."

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  • concernedcitizen posted at 7:41 am on Sat, Oct 6, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    Bullying............Coming to a city council meeting near you. :)

  • concernedcitizen posted at 6:34 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    You want to see bullying? Read the comments on the end of the PYP program and you will see where the kids learn it from.

  • JesusIsTheLight posted at 8:17 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    JesusIsTheLight Posts: 651

    Well, when you have a Godless society, kids get meaner and meaner and parents get more and more clueless.

  • LMYCDA posted at 7:14 pm on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    LMYCDA Posts: 2072

    We don't want to take away the little rich kid's phones. They use them for sexting, cheating and who knows what else.

  • LMYCDA posted at 7:12 pm on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    LMYCDA Posts: 2072

    Left-wing extremism. What in the h3ll are you talking about. This is about bullying. Keep your political rants out of this discussion. Thank you.

  • DeNiles posted at 12:33 pm on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    Um, what exactly are they doing? Are they name calling in the digital domains? And this is different how? Did most of us at one time or another not have to deal with such adversity face-to-face? As I recall the more you react they more they taunt cuz they know you'll react. And I would have to think that it would be less of an immediate impact if the kids were not allowed their cellphones at school. Kids have got to learn how to deal with un-nice peoples.

  • Rationale posted at 7:28 am on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1975


    Don't forget teachers pets..

    Actually, that's not bullying. No threats are being made there. That is simply poor teaching ability.

    As for the bullying, that's what happens when discipline is removed from schools, and the idiotic mentality that you punish a bully the same as his victim if they get into a fight(and the victim defends himself) is the root of all this.

  • capnbutch posted at 7:21 am on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    capnbutch Posts: 729


    You are sharp to catch the name. It would be upsetting if ]Izaiah Dolezal were a son of Rachael Dolezal, the Human Rights bully.

    Let us hope that all this discussion helps everyone better understand interpersonal relations and bring friendship instead of Left-Wing extremism. There is never a reason to badmouth a minority without meeting the people and exploring their logic. There is no room for hatred.

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 6:15 am on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    As stated above " bullying has been around since school itself" but it fails to acknowledge it has been around even before that and through every age group from infancy to the geriatrics. What is being called Bullying today is just human nature, no Animal instinct. Bullying has never been condond in schools and always been punished to curtail it.

    Since society today is unwilling to take the steps needed to curtail the Bullying mentality, Physical and mental control over those that force control onto others. It is no wonder Bullying is on the rise. When society openly embarrasses the bully, some subside. If that didn't work the next step was corpal punishment openly delivered to cover both controls. If neither of these had effect suspension and then expulsion.

    Mentoring is great to teach the bullied how to cope, but only Authoritatively bullying the bulliers works to reduce their numbers and effects. But with the wussification of society that preventive measure is gone. Good luck, but you are just spinning your wheels much like the War on Drugs (30 years with 35% usage and no meaningful changes), the effects will only get worse as your efforts and expenses grow. When you Accept no one can change another, that only they can change themselves. Then the ability to limit their effects can be productive, because time moves to fast for one at a time to ever work.

    Bullies only relent to a bigger bully, a wussified society is not a bigger bully, so the bullies will always multiply their numbers and effects. Get rid of the lessor bullies thru incremental punishments and push out of society those that are the worst, then mentoring can help those that are at highest risk of being bullied can help teach them the strength they need to survive bullies they WILL find all through live.

  • concernedcitizen posted at 6:01 am on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    OH and when teachers give preferential treatment to certain students like athletes or cheerleaders it ISN'T a form of bullying?

  • NoName posted at 5:44 am on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    NoName Posts: 253

    "Dolezal"........ that name sounds familiar in the Press for some reason.......

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