01 December 2011

Anoka’s cyber bullying problem

The Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota has recently grieved the loss of another student to suicide, the sixth person in the area to commit suicide in under a year. According to the nonprofit Suicide Awareness Voices of

Education, there are on average about 25 to 30 teen suicides across the state each year, making Anoka account for a significant portion. A majority of these cases involved students in middle school or young adults on the way to college who suffered cyber bullying. Some were also targeted because they identified as LGBT.

Cyber bullying has become a national issue, specifically with LGBT students. Organizations such as the Trevor Project and the It Gets Better Campaign — now over a year in the making — have brought the issue national attention. The deeper impacts of cyber bullying occur when it is not reported or vocalized by its victims because it often takes place in a space without supervision from parents or school officials. When bullying takes place over social networking sites, the bullying is more public, but it can also be easier to identify and prove abuse has occurred.

It is sad that as a society we must endure the suicides of a number of youth in order to realize that suicide prevention, as well as discrimination in schools, must be addressed. However, it is not too late to see our future children live without bullying in the classroom or online, and to reduce the number of students we lose to suicide each year.

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Solutions : www.xcyss.in

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