Cyberbullying in the USA
Approximately 287 million Americans use the Internet on a regular basis in the U.S. today. That’s approximately 88.5% of the U.S. population (out of a 2016 estimated population of 324 million).
A recent Pew Research Center study revealed that approximately 92% of American teens ages 13-17 use online services daily. Of this figure, 24% say they’re online ‘almost constantly’ throughout the day.
As approximately 75% of teens own their own smartphone, much of their online activity takes place on their mobile devices.
Survey participants pegged Facebook as the site most used for socializing with friends (71%) with Instagram coming in second (52%), Snapchat third (41%) and Twitter and Google+ tying for fourth place (33% each).
With so much online activity happening in the U.S. among both older and younger generations, it’s not surprising that cyberbullying has made major inroads into American society.
Cyberbullying is defined as ‘a form of bullying that is carried out through an Internet service such as e-mail, chat rooms, discussion group, online social networking, instant messaging or web pages.’ Cyberbullies also use smartphone technology in the form of emails and texts.
It’s estimated that cyberbullying in the USA affects over a third of American young people. Some common examples of bullying behavior include:
- Sending malicious emails and texts
- Spreading rumors via email or social media sites
- Posting defamatory comments, photos or videos online
- Setting up fake profiles to launch cyberattacks on others
- Cyber stalking
Cyberbullying statistics collected by such organizations as the National Crime Prevention Center, Cyberbullying Research Center, Hartford County Examiner, Cyberbulling.us, i-SAFEInc and the American Osteopathic Association gives parents a clearer picture of the prevalence of cyberbullying activities in the country:
- Over 50% of young people surveyed said they had been cyberbullied; the same percentage claimed to be perpetrators of cyberbullying acts
- Of those bullied, 87% said it occurred on Facebook, 19% said bullying occurred on Twitter and 13% were bullied on BlackBerry messenger
- Over one third of survey participants had received threats online
- One in every five teens had posted or sent selfie photos of a sexual nature to others
- Hurtful comments and rumors were reported as the most common cyberbullying behavior experienced by teens
- 88% of young people who used social media said they had witnessed cyberbullying acts
- Only 15% of parents taking the survey had knowledge of online activities their kids participated in that could lead to being bullied online
- 45%-57% of cyberbullying incidents originate on chat room sites
- 20% of young people who are cyberbullied contemplate suicide; one out of every 10 teens actually attempt it
Clearly, cyberbullying has become a major problem in the U.S. Like many other countries around the world, the U.S. needs to wake up to the dangers that online bullying poses to American youth across the country.
American Kids and Digital Technology
In a 2012 article written by senior sports reporter Sam Laird for Mashable Lifestyle, Laird shared the following information about kids and digital technology:
- 69% of adolescents own a smartphone or computer; 80% of these have social media accounts
- On average, teens send as many as 60 texts on their mobiles daily
- Girls between the ages of 14 and 17 send up to 100 texts daily
- Approximately 7.5 million kids under the age of 13 are Facebook users
- Teen texting is double that of adults
There seems to be a growing trend in the U.S. for kids as young as 9, 10 and 11 to use social media. In addition, more parents are buying cell phones for their kids. According to OnlineMom.com, the average age for mobile phone ownership in the U.S. is 11 years old. As more children gain access to digital technology, American parents and teachers are likely to see cyberbullying cases rise.
Smartphone users have various means of communicating with their friends. Texting, however, has become the most popular way of getting messages across. Of the 88% of young people who own a cell phone, most all communicate by text. Texting is also a favored medium of cyberbullies as it’s quite easy to send defamatory texts.
On top of the texting services they receive through their mobile phone companies, approximately 33% of young people are using messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Kik to send and receive texts, opening the door even further for cyberbullying activities via their mobile device.
Many tweens and young teens that socialize via mobile phone and social media lack the maturity to use these avenues of communication wisely. They also lack a support network to help them handle unexpected bullying activity that may arise via social media or their mobile device. Even older teens have difficulty handling the pressures of cyberattacks. The following tragic news stories clearly illustrate the threat cyberbullying poses to American students.
American Youth Commit Suicide due to Cyberattacks
Cyberbullying in the USA is a serious threat that young people can’t brush off or ignore. The vicious nature of online bullying and its extensive reach make it much more treacherous than bullying in person. Internet bullying can cause long-term physical and psychological damage to young people who are already at a vulnerable age. Here are just a few examples of those who suffered the ultimate price from being bullied online.
In 2012, Kenneth Weishuhn, a young teen attending a local high school in Iowa, was targeted by bullies for his sexual orientation. Kenneth’s bullying experience started shortly after ‘coming out’ of the closet concerning his gay lifestyle. Classmates reacted by forming an anti-gay Facebook group and launching a vicious hate campaign against Kenneth online. Former friends and classmates also sent death threats via his cellphone and harassed him barraged continually in school.
Kenneth confided he was having problems with bullying to his mother and at one point said, “Mom, you don’t know how it feels to be hated.” According to Kenneth’s sister, Kayla, even friends Kenneth trusted turned against him and joined in on the act. Others were simply too frightened to intervene or report what was going on. Not long after the ordeal began, Kenneth took his life to escape the bullying assault.
High school cyberbullying is a common occurrence in the U.S. and often has devastating results. As so many tweens and teens socialize on Facebook, bullies often use this site to launch malicious attacks. Facebook bullying is much more common than American parents and teachers think and unfortunately, not taken as seriously as it should.
At the onset of 2016, David Molak, an Alamo Heights High School student, hung himself in his Texas home due to ongoing attacks from bullies online. David had been receiving derogatory text messages on a regular basis from a gang of bullies from school. According to Cliff Molak, David’s 24 yr. old brother, there was no rhyme or reason for these attacks. “He did not do anything to them (the bullies) besides having an attractive girlfriend. … They crushed his spirit and took away his motivation to do anything,” Cliff said, describing how his brother felt concerning the attacks.
After the suicide, Cliff posted the following note online: “In today’s age, bullies don’t push you into lockers, they don’t tell their victims to meet them behind the school’s dumpster after class. They cower behind user names and fake profiles from miles away constantly berating and abusing good, innocent people.”
Many middle school bullying and high school bullying incidents are initiated by a young person’s peers. It’s not uncommon for former boyfriends or girlfriends to bully an ‘ex’ out of jealousy or spite. ‘Friends’ or classmates may initiate cyberattacks in retaliation for something victims did or didn’t do. In an aggressive society such as the U.S. where violence is avidly promoted in Hollywood movies, TV shows and video games, it’s not surprising that American youth demonstrate this same type of behavior online.
The rapid growth of sexting among American young people has many parents concerned about the online safety of their teens. Early in 2009, 13 yr. old Hope Witsell of Sundance, Florida, made the fatal mistake of sending a nude selfie to a male student she liked. The photo was seen by a female classmate who happened to borrow the boy’s cellphone. The girl promptly forwarded the image to her friends and soon dozens of people in Hope’s middle school and surrounding schools had viewed the nude image.
Shortly afterwards, the bullying began. Hope was bombarded with insulting messages calling her a ‘whore’ and ‘slut.’ After discovering the nude selfie, Hope’s middle school suspended her for a week, forcing her to start 8th grade a week later than her peers. Upon returning to school, Hope showed signs of self-harm, yet the school did little to help her through her ordeal. Not long afterward, the young student committed suicide in her home due to the incessant bullying she endured.
For many young people, digital connectivity begins in their school. As kids continue to ‘friend and follow’ others, their peer network begins to expand. In their desire for approval and popularity, teens make unwise mistakes such as posting provocative photos, falsifying information or friending people they don’t know – all of which puts them at risk of being targeted by cyberbullies.
Social Media Bullying Connected to Teen Depression
A 2015 report in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics indicates a clear link between cyberbullying and depression. Studies reveal that teens who have been bullied online, specifically through social media, eventually demonstrate signs of depression.
The recurring tragedy of teen suicides due to online bullying led researchers to launch a study on the behavior of young teen victims of online attacks, particularly on social sites. Researchers were aware that teens who suffered from traditional bullying were at greater risk of suffering from depression in their adult years. The overall health effects of cyberbullying, however, had yet to be charted, according to Michele Hamm, a pediatric researcher at the University of Alberta.
A review of 36 studies investigating the long term effects of Internet bullying on adolescents ages 12 to 18 revealed that “There were consistent associations between exposure to cyberbullying and increased likelihood of depression.” Although various social sites were used for these studies, Facebook was the one that stood out, as between 89%-97.5% of the teens who participated in the studies had Facebook accounts.
Of the 36 studies, 17 covered the frequency of cyberbullying on social media. Researchers discovered that on average 23% of the teens who were surveyed had been targeted on social sites; 15% confessed to being perpetrators of bullying acts.
The studies also showed that the majority of teens victimized by online bullying suffered in silence. “Kids really are hesitant to tell anyone when cyberbullying occurs,” explained Hamm, as they “fear that if they tell their parents, for example, they’ll lose their Internet access.” Hamm suggested parents encourage their kids to report online bullying and take time to teach them online safety rather than threaten to cut off their Internet. Parents should also become familiar with cyberbullying signs so they can tell if their kids are having problems with bullying online.
Social media and Internet use in the U.S. aren’t going away anytime soon. If anything, they’re only going to increase as time goes on. Online socialization is an integral part of a modern young person’s life. In like manner, the risk of cyberbullying isn’t going to disappear overnight. Parents and teens need to come to terms on how to deal with cyberbullying issues and specifically, how to prevent cyberbullying attacks.
Teen Girls See an Increase in Cyberattacks
The results of a six year study (2006-2012) conducted by the Education Development Center (EDC) involving 16,000 high school students from the Boston area showed a marked increase in internet bullying activities among teen girls. Between the years of 2006 and 2012, the percentage of students experiencing online bullying rose from 14.6% to 21.2%, according to EDC survey results collected from 17 Boston schools. During this same time period, the percentage of teen girls being bullied on social media spiraled upwards by 10% as compared to 3% for teen boys. Bullying experts attribute this increase to the rapid spread of digital technology among young people, which makes it easier for cyberbullying information to be dispersed online.
“I am not surprised in the least that cyberbullying has gone up,” commented Rusty Sullivan, co-producer of the anti-bullying program Boston vs. Bullies which is used in Massachusetts schools. “Cellphones, the Internet, and everything that goes along with it is such a bigger part of kids’ lives today than it was 10 years ago.”
Sullivan feels that cyberbullying “raises the stakes considerably” for victims as a bully’s online audience is virtually limitless compared to traditional face to face encounters. “Once the kid hits send (on cyberbullying material), there’s no way to control it,” Sullivan says. Websites that allow bullies to send anonymous messages or make anonymous posts that can go viral almost instantly contribute to the country’s cyberbullying problems.
Gershon Ben Keren of Boston’s Situation Effective Protection System program attributes the growth of cyberbullying offenses to how easy it is for bullies to commit cyberattacks. “It takes only one embarrassing photograph to constitute cyberbullying,” he says, “whereas in the past bullying often took a pattern of repeated behavior.”
“Gone are the days when a child could walk home, close his or her bedroom door, and escape being bullied,” says Ben Keren. Today bullies can enter young people’s homes, minds and hearts at any time, day or night, with a mere click of a button. The Situation Effective Protection program was designed to help people foresee, recognize and prevent situations that could lead to violence, of which cyberbullying is a part.
Elizabeth Englander, director of Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, along with other bullying specialists, agree with the findings of the EDC study that cyberbullying disproportionately affects teen girls more than boys.
“Girls tend to be more peer-focused than boys, and therefore more prone to forms of bullying such as exclusion and rumor spreading,” says Jon Mattleman, Director of the Needham Youth Services in Needham, MA. For that reason, Mattleman feels “(cyberbullying) tends to be very personal and very devastating” for them.
In 2010, Massachusetts passed what was then one of the toughest laws against bullying in the U.S. The legislation mandated that teachers and students receive anti-bullying training to help them better understand what causes bullying and how to handle bullying attacks. Like many other states in the U.S., Massachusetts has a history of school bullying behavior. The 2010 anti-bullying law also made every school employee responsible for reporting bullying behavior. In addition to tackling problems with traditional bullying, the Massachusetts bill was introduced to help stop cyberbullying acts.
Common Online Attacks
After conducting extensive studies on cyberbullying among American middle school and high school students, researchers compiled a list of some of the fastest growing cyber offenses committed by cyberbullies in the U.S. These offenses include:
- Identity theft – stealing someone else’s online information to cyberbully others
- Doctoring photos – altering people’s photos to make them appear ugly or obnoxious in order to humiliate them
- Online polls – creating mean and confrontational online polls about others and posting results on social sites
- Taking provocative or demeaning photos or videos of people without their knowledge and posting them online
- Recording private conversations without people’s consent and posting them online
- Posting hurtful or embarrassing personal information about people online
- 19% of cyberbullying offenses entail spreading rumors or lies about others
- Almost 13% of online bullying involves hurtful comments and posts
- 72% of children who are bullied say it’s due to their appearance; 26% say they’re bullied because of their religion or race; 22% are harassed due to their sexuality
- 40% of autistic children and 60% of those with Asperger’s Syndrome are bullied both online and off
- Girls (41%) are more likely to be cyberbullied during their lifetime than boys (28%)
- Male bullies are more likely to post damaging photos or videos of others
Despite greater awareness of cyberbullying activities and parental and teacher involvement in nationwide seminars and talks, not much improvement has been made in preventing cyberbullying or stopping cyberattacks. American children and teens continue to display aggressive online behavior and cyberbullying percentages continue to climb.
October is ‘National Bullying Prevention Month’ in the U.S., a time when parents, teachers and students can focus on solutions to bullying and cyberbullying problems. By highlighting cyberbullying issues that are plaguing their kids’ schools and local communities, parents and teachers can come up with no-bullying projects and programs that zero in on these specific problems.
In 2015, the Cyberbullying Research Center took a random survey of 457 students aged 11 through 15 years old from a Midwestern middle school in the U.S. to help determine just how widespread cyberbullying had become in American society. The results were as follows:
Concerning Digital Technology Use
- The preferred technology of most of the students surveyed was mobile devices
- Instagram was the preferred social media site
- Twitter and Ask.fm were the least popular sites for American students within this age group
Concerning Internet Bullying Victimization
- Approximately 34% of young people surveyed said they had experienced cyberbullying at some time in their life
- Mean comments and rumors were the most common offenses reported within the previous month (12.8% of students received mean comments; 19.4% suffered the spread of foul rumors)
- 21% of students said they had experienced one or more of these offenses – hurtful comments, gossip, threats, posting of bad photo, malicious text or identity theft – 2X or more within the last 30 days
Concerning Perpetrating Cyberbullying Acts
- Approximately 15% of students surveyed said they had bullied others online at some point in their lives
- Gossip and rumors were the main cyber offenses
- About 6% of those who confessed to cyberbullying said they had bullied others 2X or more within the last 30 days
Concerning Online Bullying by Gender
- Teen girls were more susceptible to cyberbullying than boys (40.6% vs 28.2%)
- Teen boys were more likely to cyberbully others than girls (15.5% vs 14%)
- Girls were more likely to post insulting comments whereas boys were more likely to share harmful photos or videos
Further cyberbullying information gathered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Cyberbullying Research Center revealed the following:
- 33% of U.S. teens have been threatened online
- 25% have been harassed repeatedly on their mobile phones
- 11% of teens have had others take humiliating photos of them without their consent
- 39% of young social network users had been bullied on social sites
- One out of every three teen girls ages 12-13 felt social media interactions were ‘mostly unkind’
- 88% of teens using social media had witnessed cruelty on a social site; 12% said they had seen this behavior “frequently”
- Of those that witnessed cruelty on social media, 55% said they’d seen others ignoring the bullying; 27% had seen others defend the victim; 19% had seen others join the bullying
- 39% of young people don’t utilize privacy settings when going on social sites
- 24% of young people said they wouldn’t know how to handle being harassed online
As cyberbullying increases in frequency, there’s always the danger that people will become familiar with this behavior and view it more as a negative ‘byproduct’ of digital technology rather than a major threat to the lives of American young people. High profile news stories of suicides caused by cyberbullying bring online bullying issues back to the limelight. Once these high profile cases settle down, however, Internet bullying almost becomes ‘business as usual’ with little being done to find permanent solutions to the problem.
Damaging Effects of Cyberattacks
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that young victims of online bullying are more susceptible to depression, health issues and problems with drug and alcohol abuse. In some cases, victims have resorted to self-harm and suicide to escape their ordeal.
In addition to physical and psychological effects, bullying and cyberbullying can have negative socioeconomic consequences. According to the Association for Psychological Science, young people involved with bullying, whether as victims, perpetrators or both, are at greater risk of academic failure and loss of employment as compared to individuals who never encountered bullying at all.
Young people who bully are more likely to continue their abusive behavior into adulthood, causing problems at home or at work. The anonymity of online bullying makes workplace cyberbullying feasible from a business office without anyone being the wiser.
Anyone can be a victim of cyberattacks; students are some of the most common candidates but parents, teachers, employees, business owners and other adults are not exempt from this malady.
The following facts about cyberbullying give a better picture of the repercussions young people face due to encounters with cyberattacks.
- 83% of cyberbullying victims suffered from low self-esteem
- 30% resorted to self-harm behavior due to cyberattacks
- Seven out of 10 kids felt bullying had a negative effect on their social life
- 30% of bullying victims contemplated suicide; 10% attempted suicide
- 7% of those bullied transitioned into bullies later down the line
Every day, children and teens face the possibility of being bullied in person or online. The National Education Association reports that over 160,000 kids in the U.S. skip school daily due to fear of bullying encounters. A decline in student attendance could result in schools losing their funding. According to a report from the National Association of Secondary School Principals, a public school could lose as much as $2.3 million in funding due to low school attendance and strong disciplinary actions.
How do States Rank in Cyberbullying Activity?
Cyberbullying activities vary from state to state, with some states having higher online bullying statistics than others. In a 2016 WalletHub study involving 45 states and Washington DC, analysts measured and compared bullying information to include frequency of bullying, impact on schools, truancy costs, suicide rates and anti-bullying laws to get an idea of how states fared in the area of school bullying.
According to study results, the states of Idaho, West Virginia, Nebraska, Maine and Michigan ranked highest in percentage of high school pupils victimized by cyberattacks. Rhode Island, North Carolina, Delaware, Florida and Washington DC had the lowest ratings for high school teens being bullied online. Idaho, West Virginia and Nebraska also placed high for traditional bullying on school property.
The tragic suicide of Missourian teen Megan Meier in 2006 brought to light the need for cyberbullying legislation to combat the threat of cyberattacks.
Like many teens in her day, 13 year old Megan Meier had a MySpace account. One day she met an older teen boy on MySpace who called himself Josh Evans, supposedly from a nearby town. The two hit it off right away and began a relationship online. A few months later, Josh began to bully Megan on her social account. He posted negative comments about her online and publicly shared her private texts. As a parting message, Josh told Megan “You are a bad person and everybody hates you […] The world is a better place without you.” Megan took his message to heart and committed suicide in her home.
Weeks later it was discovered that ‘Josh Evans’ was actually Lori Drew, the parent of one of Megan’s friends. The entire online affair was a big hoax intended only to ‘mess with’ the young teen. Despite the fact that the incident caused Megan’s demise, Missouri police found that the hoax was not in violation of any of Missouri’s state laws.
Federal prosecutors, however, took up the case in what was to become the first Internet bullying trial in the country. Drew was eventually charged and convicted of three misdemeanors for ‘unauthorized computer access.’
Shortly afterwards, Missouri instituted what was called “Megan’s Law,” which made online harassment a criminal offense in the state. Three years later, the Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act, a federal bill that proposed cyberbullies be fined or imprisoned, was presented for state ratification by political advocates of bullying legislation. Unfortunately the bill was never passed.
There are still no federal laws addressing bullying today. However, federal civil rights legislation protects students from discriminatory harassment in public schools that receive federal funds.
Is Cyberbullying a State Crime?
Although bullying isn’t considered a criminal offense under the current laws of most states, there are occasions where cyberbullying activities can be prosecuted under a state’s cyberstalking or anti-harassment legislation.
In most states, bullying and Internet bullying issues are handled by school officials. School districts are encouraged to create and institute anti-bullying policies to deal with bullying on school grounds. Under state laws, schools have the authority to punish students who are guilty of bullying or cyberbullying offenses.
Currently 49 out of the country’s 50 states have laws and/or policies in place that can be used to counter school bullying situations. For the most part, school officials are charged with the enforcement of these policies. In 20 states, the reference to ‘cyberbullying’ is stated directly within the legislation, i.e. ‘bullying using electronic methods’.
State district attorneys can also use existing state laws to prosecute cyberbully offenses that fall under the category of criminal harassment. Depending on the state and circumstances surrounding an offense, criminal charges may be levied against individuals if their offense results in a victim’s suicide. Most states lean toward offenders being held more accountable for their bullying acts, both on and off school grounds.
In Florida, the “Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act” prohibits all forms of bullying against students in Florida schools, from kindergarten through 12th grade. The Act also covers bullying against school officials and provides references to Internet bullying. Although there are no criminal sanctions for bullying behavior under this Act, it does give schools the right to develop anti-bullying policies and report bullying instances to local authorities. Most states allow victims to seek solutions to bullying incidents in civil court when warranted.
Are Cyberbullies ‘Criminals’?
According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, most Internet bullying activities aren’t criminal acts. However, certain bullying behavior should be reported to local police. Internet bullying that has the potential to lead to violence or that involves sexually explicit material or stalking warrants investigation by the police.
If a state doesn’t have a specific law against cyberbullying, online offenses may be prosecuted under:
- Cyberstalking – using digital communications to follow the movements of others in a ‘threatening or malicious’ manner
- Cyber-harassment – using digital communications to harass or threaten others
- Identity theft – online bullying acts that involve stealing a person’s computer password or online identity
The penalties for online bullying in the U.S. vary from state to state. Sanctions may range from school suspension or expulsion to civil punishments, payment of a fine and/or imprisonment. In some states, cyberbullying is considered a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and/or jail time.
The most effective anti-bullying campaigns and policies are those that encourage students to stand up against bullying in their schools and expose bullying acts. There’s great power in speaking out. The following cyberbullying account illustrates the importance of not suffering in silence and taking action against cyberattacks.
Nicole Edgington was celebrating her 17th birthday at a music concert when the barrage of hateful text messages starting coming into her cell phone. Over the next few months, Nicole, through no fault of her own, would become a victim of a relentless text message and Facebook cyberbullying campaign. Nicole’s ordeal began after being falsely accused of turning in a group of fellow high school students to school officials in her hometown of Pleasanton, CA, for coming to school drunk.
Almost immediately classmates and ‘trusted friends’ began to bombard her cell phone with insults and threats. Others posted malicious comments about her on Facebook. In school, students constantly gossiped about her behind her back. Her efforts to defend herself on Facebook or in texts only resulted in more vicious attacks.
In desperation, Nicole deleted her Facebook account and ignored insulting texts, deleting them as quickly as they came in. She confided in her parents who immediately contacted the school for help. At that time, however, the school had no policy for handling cyberbullying issues and had nothing to offer but condolences.
Nicole’s mother Shawn Edgington refused to accept her daughter’s plight. After educating herself about cyberbullying and speaking out against cyberbullying acts, she and her daughter formed the “Great American NO BULL Challenge” with Nicole as its main spokesperson. Through this campaign, Nicole was able to expose the dangers of cyberbullying and rally others to stand up against cyberattacks.
“This (campaign) has allowed me to stop running from my past,” Nicole said. “Instead of letting others tear me down, I’m able to live my life to the fullest while inspiring others to do the same. I am seeing how powerful it can be to stand up to cyberbullies.”
Originally founded in 2011, the Great American NO BULL Challenge continues as a voice against cyberbullying to this day. The organization encourages high school and university students ages 13-23 to speak out against all bullying behavior and tackle such issues as Internet bullying, violence, inequality, Internet addiction, LGBT abuse and suicide. Through short films, stories and commentaries, students who have been victimized by bullying or cyberbullying are encouraged to share their stories to make a positive difference in their school and local communities.
Anti-Bullying Campaigns and Programs in the U.S.
There are various anti-bullying campaigns and programs available across the country to help victims of cyberbullying acts. Parents, teachers and students who need help with cyberbullying issues or would like to help others overcome cyberbullying problems can get in touch with any one of the following programs:
- The Great American NO BULL Challenge
- Internet Safety 101
- Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
- Stomp Out Bullying
- Delete Digital Drama
- STOP Cyberbullying
Unlike Internet usage which is here to stay, cyberbullying doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture in modern U.S. society. By encouraging students to rally against cyberbullying behavior and implementing anti-bullying policies and laws, U.S. schools and communities can create a safer, more accepting environment in which to educate and raise their children.