Cyber Bullies: Rehabilitation over Reprimand?

 Cyber Bullies: Rehabilitation over Reprimand

The dangers of cyber-bullying have long been known to researchers, but the problem now stands: what should be done with these cyber bullies?  There are multiple problems that arise when attempting to come up with a suitable punishment for cyber bullies. The parents and administrators naïvely believe that they can have an intimate sit-down conversation with their kid about the dangers of cyber or conduct a school assembly, but the truth of the matter is that bullies are often the victim of a much larger case of psychological trauma that can stem from a multitude of sources (Farmer 365). The best "punishment” for perpetrators of online bullying is to take a more psychological approach and focus on mental and self-rehabilitation that would get to the core of the problems that the student is experiencing and perpetuating unto others, rather than, conventional standards of punishment that take a more legal approach, like suspension, expulsion, and revocation of privileges, that fail to strike at the core of what made the student resort to cyber bullying in the first place.

Most of the time that children spend online is devoted to interacting with their peers on social media, which means children are always susceptible to bullies. Mishma et al. reported that nearly 75 percent of students ages 15-19 have experienced some sort of bullying in or out of school (107).  Since an overwhelming majority of people still report bullying, it is obvious that the preventative measures that have been implemented are ineffective and that something else needs to be done about it. Beale and Hall provide a litany of different preventative and interventive measures that can be taken, including, educational seminars for students and parents, increased relations with police, and development of a task force (10). However, these solutions take a mechanical and legal perspective and fail to understand and root out the fundamental cause of cyber bullying – psychological trauma. The solutions introduced by Beale and Hall focus too heavily on systematic preventative measures which flat-out contradicts the statistic that was cited earlier, that stated, despite preventative measure, cyber-bullying is still a prevalent issue. Under this kind of disciplinary structure, the cyber bully will go back to school without an understanding of why he acted in the way that they did and how it affected others.

Cyber bullies usually are not bullying simply for the sake of being bullies. Bullying can be a product of a multitude of different things but most commonly stems from misunderstood emotional trauma. This emotional trauma commonly stems from feelings of powerlessness and neglect (Farmer 366). Since the cyber bully is feeling these intense emotions and has no safe outlet for them to safely be expressed, they naturally assert these feeling on those they feel are even more powerless than themselves. It is a common belief that by forcing dominance upon another student, the bully has effectively found an outlet for their intense emotions (367). If the student were given the resources to healthily deal with their emotions the problem could have been avoided entirely, however, since avoiding the problem is not a good solution to the problem, once the student is found to be cyber bullying they should enter rehabilitation to strike at the core of what may be causing their bullyish tendencies.

The only type of preventive measure that can be taken is creating an environment that promotes the cultivation of good mental health and acceptance of others.   If students continue to fail to understand their own emotional trauma, then there will continue to be cyber bullies. There is little that can be done to intervene a would-be cyber bully. The best "punishment” that can be bestowed is a psychiatric mental evaluation, as opposed to legal disciplinary actions that fail to get to the root of the student’s problems. A focus on rehabilitation rather ensures the root of the problem has been found and the student can begin to live a long and fruitful life and positively impact the lives of those around them.




Works Cited

Beale, Andrew V., and Kimberly R. Hall. "Cyberbullying: What School Administrators (And       Parents) Can Do.” The Clearing House, vol. 81, no. 1, 2007, pp. 8–12. JSTOR, JSTOR, 

Farmer, Thomas W., et al. "Peer Relations of Bullies, Bully-Victims, and Victims: The Two          Social Worlds of Bullying in Second-Grade Classrooms.” The Elementary School Journal, vol. 110, no. 3, 2010, pp. 364–392. JSTOR, JSTOR,

Mishna, Faye, et al. "Real-World Dangers in an Online Reality: A Qualitative Study Examining   Online Relationships and Cyber Abuse.” Social Work Research, vol. 33, no. 2, 2009, pp.   107–118. JSTOR, JSTOR, 

Enjoy big discounts

Get 20% discount on your first order