President and Mrs. Obama take on Cyberbullying
Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, FourSquare, Tumblr, the list of social networking sites that connect people is constantly growing. Along with all the benefits of the expansion of technology into our daily lives, there are also risks, like bullying, that have become evident on a tragic and national scale, especially as bullying has been linked to a slew of recent teen suicides.
National attention was focused on cyberbullying last month when President and Mrs. Obama hosted their first Conference on Bullying Prevention aimed at addressing the serious and sometimes lethal problem of cyberbullying. The conference announced the release of the Administration's new website targeting bullying prevention that offers advice and resources to those dealing with the issue. StopBullying.gov is a multifaceted approach, offering solutions to teachers, parents, lawmakers, teens and victims of bullying. The website also has tools geared for the gay teen community, considering 8 in 10 gay teens report being verbally harassed, and 1 in 5 reported being physically assaulted at school according to the 2009 School Climate Survey.
This follows closely on the heels of a study released by the National Cyber Security Alliance, in partnership with Microsoft, that found the majority of K-12 teachers are not addressing cyberbullying or online hate speech in their classrooms. The study found that just over a quarter of teachers surveyed had discussed ways to address the dangers of cyberbullying.