It’s a Sad Day When Parents Need to Purchase Cyberbullying Insurance!
Oh how the world has changed in fifteen years since the cyber world, social media and apps became dominant players. Now there is cyberbullying insurance available in the U.K. Chubb Insurance is offering their policy holders who buy their personal insurance additional cyberbullying coverage which can be use to pay for counseling and victims’ lost income if they are off work for a week or more. It may even cover relocation expenses if the victim has to move.
Sadly, cyberbullying has become all too common place and a big concern for parents, kids, educators and law enforcement. One in four teens report that they have experienced repeated bullying via their cell phone or on the internet and on social networking sites. Cyberbullying has had a tremendous impact on our kids, beginning as early as 2nd grade. The worst outcome, of course of being cyberbullied is suicide. So it’s an issue that we all take seriously in today’s digitally dominated world.
Use of Anonymous Apps
The use of anonymous apps has added to the cyberbullying problem as it puts distance between the target and the cyberbully. These apps allow the cyberbully to hide behind the power of anonymity to denigrate, demean, get laughs at the expense of others, spread rumors and threaten their victims. There are many apps that enable this kind of behavior. Some of the more popular apps that tweens and teens are using click here.
One of the newest anonymous apps that has raised red flags is After School. The app clearly states that bullying and harassment is not allowed, but unfortunately the app has become a hide away for significant bullying. It’s all too easy for tweens and teens to hide behind their devices to attack their victims and say things online that they would never say to a victim’s face. Kids often behave in a different way online than they do offline because they can easily hide their identity.
Two Recent Cases of Vicious Cyberbullying
Two recent cases of cyberbullying has garnered the attention of news media and show just how vicious kids can be online. Lynelle Cantwell became aware of anonymous online “straw poll” called “Ugliest girls at HTH,” in which she and other girls were ranked as being ugly. This poll was posted on ask.fm.
She responded by posting on her Facebook page :
“To the person that made the “ugliest girls in grade 12 at HTH” ask.FM straw poll. I’m sorry that your life is so miserable that you have to try to bring others down. To the 12 people that voted for me to bring me to 4th place. I’m sorry for you too. I’m sorry that you don’t get to know me as a person. I know that i’m not the prettiest thing to look at. I know i have a double chin and i fit in XL clothes. I know i don’t have the perfect smile or the perfect face. But i’m sorry for you. Not myself. I’m sorry that you get amusement out of making people feel like shit. I’m sorry that you’ll never get the chance to know the kind of person i am. I may not look okay on the outside.. But i’m funny, nice, kind, down to earth, not judgemental, accepting, helpful, and i’m super easy to talk to. Thats the same for every other girl on that list that you all put down. Just because we don’t look perfect on the outside does not mean we are ugly. If thats your idea of ugly then i feel sorry for you. Like seriously? Get a life.”
The out pouring of support was tremendous! There were over 7,000 shares of Lynelle’s post on her Facebook page.
This Case of Cyberbullying is the Lowest of the Low!
Here is an image of a sick knock knock joke. It says, “A person had posted a photo of the United High School student on Instagram, saying “knock knock. Who’s there” “Not your white blood cells, thats for sure”
Another Instagram user reposted the photo, saying “(expletive) cancer patient embarrising (expletive) kill yourself (expletive) are you even doing alive.”
The community has rallied behind Nicole as they did for Lynelle. The teens have been arrested and detained in the county jail on charges of public harassment. Hooray for that! Personally, I would like to see these arrests more often. I think if kids realized and felt the consequences of their online actions, cyberbullying would be curtailed immensely.
Parents Need to Know How Their Kids Are Behaving Online, Just As They Do Offline
Parents need to know how their kids are behaving online, just as they do offline. Targeting a cancer victim is the lowest of the low. And I would say it’s doubtful that these are the first harmful posts that these kids have put out there online. Parents need to be aware of the websites their kids are visiting, the apps they are using and the messages they are sending. They need to know hos their kids are behaving online. Nothing good ever happens when anonymity comes into play!
Insurance Coverage to Help Cyberbully Victims
It’s a sad day that as part of a personal insurance policy, cyberbullying coverage may be needed to protect victims from being targeted by mean, ill behaved, insensitive kids that don’t know how to behave online in a civilized manner. It’s also too bad that many parents are clueless about how their kids are behaving online. Let’s wake up and get in the know parents! Monitor you child’s online behavior and activity! This should be done with your child’s knowledge, so that it’s easy to have a conversation about how they’re behaving online. If these parents had known how their kids were behaving online, these kids might not be sitting in a jail cell today! Hopefully, now that these kids are sitting in a jail cell, they may think twice about their online actions. And more importantly both incidents could have been prevented so that these two girls and many others like them wouldn’t have to live with these horrific memories forever.