Research Paper Cyberbullying

The purpose of this report was to explore the issue of cyber bullying among adolescents and the possible solutions to the problem. Research for this report included a news article and an academic journal article. A news article published in The Age (15/06/12) by Melissa Laria raises the dangers of bullying and cyberbullying and the desperate need to enforce new effective national laws to battle the issue. As technology advances, so do bullying techniques, the ability for this behaviour to carry on off school grounds, outside hours and even across borders has become very easy and instant, meaning it has gotten way ahead of the law.

Although there are current laws against traditional bullying which do hold schools responsible, allowing them to intervene, there has been talk of proposals in regards to an upgrade. However, a main factor to the bullying problem is the lack of awareness that schools and parents have. It has been suggested that the news laws should hold parents and schools accountable the child or children’s behaviour. This would mean that parents and schools would face penalties if they fail to monitor the child or children’s behaviour, the state governments are yet to determine whether they agree that this additional measurement is necessary.

The study shown in the academic journal analyses relevant experimental studies and provides a clearer explanation of the characteristics behind cyberbullying. As previously mentioned, there are current laws that do apply to both traditional and cyberbullying, the academic journal article shows a direct connection to this. It outlines the process of how and why they came to be and provides examples of past findings that support the claims made in the news article.

The academic journal article looks at the extant case law and legislation that clearly state that school administrators and law enforcement are in in fact allowed to intervene in cyberbullying incidents, Stewart and Fritsch (2011) “In short, courts have held that school districts can intervene in cyberbullying incidents, including those that originate off-campus when it can be shown that the incident resulted in a substantial disruption of the educational environment”. The difference between the articles is that the academic journal article looks at the topic in much more depth.

There is a greater focus of the legal side of things, by which opinion was developed on the facts; this included that cyberbullying is a cybercrime and seriousness of offending. This was done by providing a number of cases, which were extracted and examined to support the argument of responsibility. This evidence allowed for the demonstration of their methods, which were based on past bullying events. The journal article also explored the reason behind why bullying and cyberbullying is committed and branched out further explaining the types of offenders and victims (male or female).

The journal article comes to the conclusion that motives differ from person to person but the technique is usually the same. As cyberbullying is a relatively new phenomenon there is still much more research required to be undertaken by researchers around the world, to help contribute to the answer. Nevertheless, it is clear, that both articles push for the same approach to issue; the likeness of even coming close to the solution is through communication and awareness.