The stereotypical bully is the big kid on the playground who pushes the smaller kids around, but recently that image has been changing. Thanks to the omnipresence of the Internet, people are being bullied anywhere they have a computer or cellphone, which can make it harder to fight compared to schoolyard bullying. Researchers at Michigan State University have recently done a study of over 3000 students in Singapore, coming to the conclusion that cyber bullying is as important to fight as traditional bullying as it has just as great an impact on people.
The researchers collected data on how often the bullied students skipped school or thought about skipping school and found that the number reached to 22% of physically bullied students. Compare that to 27% of students who were bullied online and 28% who were bullied by text message. Similar numbers were found when counting how many bullied students had suicidal thoughts, and all of this echoes research down with US and Canadian students.
The point of this research is that anti-bullying plans need to target both physical and electronic bullying as they are both hurting students. Also such plans need to reach beyond school and into the home so parents also can identify and respond to the warning signs of a bullied child.
Source: Michigan State University