As we all know, cyber bullying is a serious problem amongst our nations youth today. It takes the problem of abuse by peers to a whole other dimension. A place that adults today never had to visit. Recently, I learned of two different sites here online that enable online safety for children and also, a place to anonymously report any bullying both on and offline.
A couple by the name of Deborah and Steven Schechner founded a website called Safe Wave. Safe Wave is a site that is set up for children to go online and not have to deal with any cyber bullying by their peers. They require signature on documents for parents and children to sign and agree NOT to cyber bully or bring any other danger on the site. Also, they have a verification process which goes through the school of the child to make sure this child who is applying is who she says she is. Children are learning to use the internet everyday and in learning, we want them to have a place to go that is safe without worrying about bullies around the corner. There is so much on here that brings danger and many kids have encountered them as some have taken their lives as a result. Also, the site welcomes law enforcement which I think it great. These are people who need to be on top of this problem more than anyone.
A Bingham Young student by the name of Justin Berenger created a site based in Utah entitled Schooltipline. This site takes anonymous reports by students of bullying and abusive situations both off and online. Each report is taken seriously and reported to the school in which the complaint is being made. As many children fear being labeled “snitches” and a lot of times do not want to “rat anyone out”, they feel much better reporting without anyone finding out that they are doing the reporting. I am grateful for this young man to step up and see that others are safe from this problem. Many times this abuse does go unreported because kids fear repercussions from these bullies. Or, as stated before, do not want to be known as someone who rats others out. There is a huge difference in reporting what should be considered criminal behavior and ratting someone out. I hope with this site, the bullying will be handled by the school personnel in an expedient manner and taken more seriously.
I commend both websites for taking action against this problem. I wish them both much success in their endeavors. It is good to see folks out there who are doing the right thing for a change. Lets keep these safe havens going. Our children deserve it.
Elizabeth Bennett is the author of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From A Psychological Perspective and resides in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit http://www.peerabuse.info .