Over the past six months the most significant cyber safety headlines address the cruel impact of bullying in a cyber-powered world that does not respect privacy.
One of the primary challenges of dealing with cyberbullying is that the law is behind the curve with respect to the level of harm cyber technology makes possible.
Lisa Ford-Berry is a Carmichael bully-prevention activist, who founded B.R.A.V.E Society after she lost her 17-year-old son Michael Berry to a cyberbullying-induced suicide in 2008. “Until the penal code is updated to deal with the incredibly harmful ways in which bullies use cyber technology to attack and stalk their victims, our children suffer a very cruel environment; the education code is not sufficient to deter the level of abuse that can break a person,” Ford-Berry said.
In March, Clementi’s cyber foe, Dahrun Ravi, was found guilty of a hate crime for secretly taping and broadcasting Clementi and his lover in their dorm. “I hope this is the beginning of strong consequences,” Ford-Berry said.
In May, Clementi’s cyber foe sentencing heightens concerns about the devastating impact of cyberbullying. For Ford-Berry, Ravi’s 30-day sentence, community service and $10,000 fine to a community organization was not a sufficient signal of how unacceptable this conduct is to others.
In April, the “Bully” movie appeared in Sacramento at the Tower Theatre, and the representatives of the education community expressed concern that parents must become an integral part of the solution.
And finally in February, a pistol-toting cyberDad proved in dramatic fashion how privacy in the net is an illusion. CyberDad, Tommy Jordan, took his pistol and video taped himself shooting his daughter’s laptop in response to a very disrespectful post she wrote about her parents on her Facebook page.
Joanne McNabb, Chief of the California Office of Privacy Protection in Sacramento, encourages parents to help children understand that social media can seduce us into believing that there is privacy, when indeed there is not, leaving us very exposed.
- Parenting in the network
- B.R.A.V.E. Society
- California Office of Privacy Prevention
- CyberParenting hot topics on TheFish103.9FM Tuesdays