Bullying has long been a schoolyard issue.
With elementary age children pushing or shoving and ongoing teasing, some children dread the atmosphere that surrounds what should be a safe environment. Sadly, as we’ve seen more and more in recent years, bullying does not go away as children graduate to middle school, high school or even college and has increased greatly in volume and severity in recent years. Similarly, there are some significant differences that exist between the schoolyard bullying and bullying in college.
Although cyber bullying exists in children and young adults, its prevalence with college-aged adults is significant.
In fact, a recent study revealed 55.3 percent of undergraduate students were victims of cyber bullying at least once. While traditional bullying occurs most often while at school, work or during the day, cyber bulling can occur at any time. This places cyber bully victims at a more heightened vulnerable state for an extended period of time.
Recent media has highlighted selected cases of extreme bullying, bringing to light the severity of cyber bullying, especially when the cyber-attacks have a chance of garnering immense attention on the Internet.
One of the most well-known examples in the media is the bullying incident at Rutgers University, which ended with the victim ultimately committing suicide. For college students it can seem impossible to escape these attacks, especially if the bully is a roommate.
But where does the main issue lie? Is bullying the result or the problem? According to psychologist Dionne Bates, bullying is the result of intolerance and non-affirming attitudes of difference. Bates continues to suggest that by specifically identifying and verbalizing the problems our youth and society face, we can decrease the fear of discussing issues and can educate others about potential risks, including bullying, that occur as a result of intolerance.
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