Beware the slope to cyberbullying

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Picking up the phone and opening up the Twitter app, one of the very first tweets that comes up says “jacob, no one in 5th hour math cares about how much u love heavy metal music, so please shut up about it.” Scrolling down, the next tweet is a photo which shows a couple kissing in the hallway with the caption “KEEP PDA AWAY FROM THE SCHOOL PLZ.” Scrolling down some more, the next tweet reads, “man, Samantha’s braces and lisp sure does gets me hot 😉 ;).”

If what we post on social media is what reflects our culture, the CFHS culture seems to have reached a new level of hostility, or maybe we should just call it what it really is: cyberbullying.

You’ve probably first heard of cyberbullying when a speaker came to your elementary school to talk about it, or when you saw that one film about cyberbullying starring Emily Osment, but now, years later, cyberbullying has wormed its way out from academic assemblies right into the heart of posts we share daily.

If cyberbullying includes writing rude comments about somebody, threatening someone, spreading rumors and posting embarrassing photos, you suddenly realize how often cyberbullying really occurs within our social media. Instead of seeing a bully shoving a kid into a locker and stealing his lunch money, now the bully can just take a Snapchat of the kid and write a demeaning caption about him instead.

What makes cyberbullying so dangerous is that it follows the victim everywhere. The harassment is posted for everybody to see and partake in. For victims, it leads to anxiety, paranoia, stress, depression and, in a worst case scenario, the victim’s depression may go over the edge to suicide. It’s happened several times before, and our community isn’t immune to it.

Besides that, there are also legal consequences that come with cyberbullying. In Iowa, you can be charged with harassment if you’re caught cyberbullying. That 10-second post may earn a criminal record and an invite to a classmate’s funeral.

As a student body, we should all realize how big of a problem cyberbullying is and when to recognize it. Take action by reporting content and calling the bully out. Don’t stand by while someone you know is being unjustly treated.

As small step toward ending all of this CFHS negativity, go to our Twitter account (@TigerHiLine) and favorite our tweet to stop cyberbullying. Publicly promsing to stand together will clearly show that we students want cyberbullying at our school to end.

No matter how much we think a person is strange, they still deserve decency and respect as any other. When we all look out for each other and make sure that students can feel as safe as possible, then we can truly become the best school that we can be.

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