Tuesday, October 12, 2010

People, Time mags cover bullying big time

The October 18, 2010 issue of People Magazine is largely dedicated to bullying, with seven stories of teens who were bullied and at least one of a bully who reformed. A link on the Tyler Clementi story is (website url) here. People was one of the sponsors of CNN-AC360's town hall last week on bullying.

The overall impression is that teens sometimes believe (generally incorrectly, but because of tribal upbringing) that difference is dangerous to the ‘group”, and teens don’t understand the consequences of behavior. Many times people bully when they have been bullied. I actually did that a couple times, once in seventh grade and again in ninth grade, late in the year, over a purely medical disability.

And John Cloud has an article on p 60 of the Oct 18 issue of Time Magazine, which the mag TOC calls “Bullying 2.0” and asks whether we need new laws to prevent cyberbullying, because digital marks never go away. I’ve talked about “online reputation defense” on my main blog a lot, and with kids its often caused by others. An earlier Time story (more optimistic than now) is here.

Why don’t teachers and administrators intervene, at least on campus? As a sub, I had to call security once, as I was incapable of physical intervention. I wound up getting banned from the school anyway. Should schools have rules for off-campus Internet use to prevent cyberbullying?

Libertarian writer Rick Sincere offers this blog posting perspective on the issue, especially for gay teens, here.

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