By Brendan Wilner
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter
DEWITT — In today’s world, technology controls most teenagers’ life. They usually are on their phones every second of the day, whether it is on social media or texting their friends, you can find teenagers using their phones. A common problem with that is cyber bullying, and DeWitt High School is no different.
The high school has to experience this problem just like any other high school in the country. Cyber bullying has become an issue in society over the past decade. The definition of cyber bullying is when kids bully one another over the Internet. At DeWitt High School, they are still doing their best to educate kids on the issue.
“The school prevents cyber bullying by having policies in the school’s code of conduct,” said Jody McKean, Principal of DeWitt High School. “We also prepare handbook videos that demonstrate proper behavior and what students should do if they witness this type of behavior.”
Examples of cyber bullying are mean text messages, rumors that are being talked about on social media, embarrassing or exposing photos being posted online. According to McKean, there aren’t specific kids who are targeted. However, those who have been bullied or harassed through social media may be affected emotionally and could lead to more severe issues/concerns.
According to the graph, approximately 34 percent of students in their sample are cyber bullied in their lifetime. It also shows that the most common way students are bullied online is through rumors about them. Students experience other students spread embarrassing rumors about them and it makes the student feel insecure.
According to the DeWitt Public School’s Code of Conduct, bullying and sexual harassment is a level three offense. The offense could possibly cause a suspension from school.
The high school provides students with an assigned school counselor and they have a very involved PALS program, which is Peer Assistance when some students would rather speak to another student, instead of an adult. There may be situations where the PALS will provide a student intervention depending on severity.
McKean can only do so much within the school.
“We have the Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative and local law enforcement talk to our students about the effects cyber-bullying has on someone’s emotional well-being as well as the potential legal ramifications.” said McKean.
The health of the students is important to the faculty and they are trying to educate and make the students aware of a serious problem in today’s society.