Sending a text through a mobile phone or sending an email through the internet used to be a harmless way to communicate with friends and family when weekends became clogged with assignments and work. As technology advanced so did bullying. Bullies began to send threatening text messages, send harassing emails, and use the likes of social networking sites to torment, humiliate, embarrass or target other students. Cyber bullying uses e-technology as a means of victimising others by e-mail, chat room discussion groups, instant messaging, webpages or SMS (text messaging) ,with the intention of harming another person (Cyber Safety Glossary ,16 Jun, 2010). “There’s no safe place anymore. You can be bullied 24/7...even in the privacy of your own bedroom” (“Electronic Bullying”, 2005, Dolly, April, Issue 414, page 90). Anxiety, depression, and other stress-related disorders are common effects of cyber bullying, with a minute percentage of children turning to suicide.
This report outlines the Year 11 Health Education’s hypothesis as to why cyber bullying occurs amongst the Meridan community. Socio cultural factors and the effects peer groups have on cyber bullying were then compared against the hypothesis and determined the effect on each hypothesis. Local facts, state facts and national facts were then contrasted against the data that Health Education students found. The need for community action to strengthen the Meridan community was identified and the action plan mediated by the Year 11 Health Education was outlined. The data collected by Health Education students was then analysed and tables and graphs collected. The effectiveness of the action plan was determined and barriers were identified.
Year 11 Health Education students believed that the Stake holders (Meridan State College Year 9 student cohort) bully primarily to increase popularity. The surveys conducted by Health Education Students show many Year 9’s use behaviours which Health Education Students determined to be associated with popularity. These behaviours include using offensive language, uploading suggestive photos of themselves, and uploading inappropriate photos of others. The second was for students to follow their peers. Grace Miller (2011) whilst in a class discussion stated she believed all students just wanted to fit in, thus they followed their peers to make friends. Behaviours found of the Year 9’s believed to support this were defending their friend if they were being bullied (found in the pre survey, but not in the post) which according to the Health education survey, 67% of students would do. Spreading rumours online was another behaviour believed to be linked. They third hypothesised reason for the stakeholders to cyber bully, was the possibility they have been bullied. Many reported harassment and threating messages, and as cyber bullying can be anonymous, targeting others over the internet can help make them feel ‘strong’.
Socio-cultural factors can influence...