As I am located in Los Angeles, I try and keep up with the ins and outs of the bullying and peer abuse problem in this state. Recently, a bill entitled AB86 introduced by Assemblyman Ted Lieu of Torrance would finally crack down on the cyber bullying that so many of our young people face today. Finally, we are cracking down on this never ending and ever growing problem. California’s Education Code already has something in the books about harassment at school. Taking this next step is the best news I have heard in weeks.
Cyber bullying is bullying that occurs on the internet, cell phones and anything used electronically. Kids will go to social sites like My Space and Facebook to set up these pages against their classmates and send bulletins and other messages slandering their good name. Or, they may go to these websites that offer free hosting and make horrible pages about each other. If the internet is not enough, they use the cell phone to take pictures or make videos and put them up on You Tube which is a free site to post videos. Also, the use of text messaging is used and it goes on and on.
Its time that we crack down on our kids and teach them the seriousness of this problem. We can put laws on the books all we want but it is about education and enforcement. Are the schools taking this seriously? What about the parents and others in the community? Peer Abuse is not just a school and workplace problem but a community one as well. Bullying affects everyone in the community; not just the bully, bullied and bystander. If bullying in person is not enough, now we go to the internet.
I commend Assemblyman Lieu on his efforts and lets keep rooting for this bill to become a law. I know he has my vote in the next election.
Resource Cited: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/16/MNF11296BN.DTL
Elizabeth Bennett is the Author of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From A Psychological Perspective and resides in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, please visit http://www.peerabuse.info .