Thursday, May 19, 2011

Journal 8 - Point/Counterpoint: Should Schools be Held Responsible for Cyberbullying? (NETS-T IV)

Bogacz, R., & Gordillo, M.G. (2011). Point/counterpoint: should schools be held responsible for cyberbullying?. Learning and Leading with Technology, 38(6), Retrieved from

Summary: The entirety of this short article is to address the two sides of the question, “Should schools be held responsible for cyberbullying?”  The first section of the article is written by Renee Bogacz, a language arts teacher of 20 years, who argues that schools should be the most responsible for cyberbullying.  According to Bogacz cyberbullying cannot be prevented if the school and its administrators are not prepared or willing to fight cyberbullying.  Bogacz states that combating cyberbullying is a team effort that requires the involvement of teachers, school administrators, parents, and the students.  In terms of teachers they have a duty to both learn about cyberbullying and know the appropriate steps for dealing with it.  Administrators need to develop strict yet clear guidelines for cyberbullying and be prepared to enforce them.  Parents should be able to track their child’s online activity while their children must be willing to stand up for themselves and other students.

The second author, Miguel Gomez Gordillo, argues that schools should not be the most responsible when it comes to the issue of cyberbullying.  Gordillo believes that the group most responsible for cyberbullying are parents.  According to Gordillo the reason many students commit acts of cyberbullying is because they do not receive enough attention from their parents and thus turn to bullying as an outlet.  Gordillo’s suggestion for combating cyberbullying is to educate parents on how to provide love and support for their children.  The purpose of schools in this circumstance is to try and implement an educational system for parents, although they are not necessarily obligated to do so.

Question 1: Who do you believe should be responsible for cyberbullying?

Answer 1: I agree with Renee Bogacz in that schools should be held the most responsible for cyberbullying.  If a student is physically bullied at school it is the responsibility of the school to both stop that bullying and administer repercussions for the bully.  I further agree with Bogacz in her statement that all parties have their part to play and if one or more don’t follow through cyberbullying cannot be prevented.  Therefore if cyberbullying does occur it is not one groups fault but rather the collective community.

Question 2: What should be the punishments for cyberbullying?

Answer 2: In my personal opinion, without a firm understanding of current punishments for traditional bullying, I believe a cyberbully should be punished as a physical bully is.  I don’t believe any distinction should be made.  A cyberbully has the capability to attack a victim at anytime, anywhere, and through a variety of tools.  Without a doubt a cyberbully can damage a victim as much or more than a traditional bully.

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