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Topic : 01/08 Cyber Bullies

Number of Replies: 804
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Created on : Friday, January 04, 2008, 02:07:51 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
You've heard the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” But what happens when someone posts malicious comments about you on the Internet? This trend, known as e-vengeance or cyber bullying, can have deadly consequences. Thirteen-year-old Megan Meier committed suicide after being taunted on MySpace by “Josh,” whom she believed to be a cute teenage boy. Unbeknownst to her parents, Ron and Tina, Josh’s profile was fake, which they believe was created by an adult neighbor to monitor Megan. Was this a case of freedom of speech, or harassment? A state senator proposing anti-cyber-bullying legislation and a First Amendment attorney weigh in. Then, Colorado councilwoman Sandy Tucker made national headlines when she posted a controversial joke online. When the mayor asked her to remove remarks he considered offensive, Sandy refused and then resigned. She doesn't feel the need to apologize and says people need to lighten up. Holly lives in Sandy's town, and joins the show via Web cam to tell the former councilwoman why the joke is no laughing matter. Plus, meet a man who says he's constantly taunted by racist slurs while playing Xbox Live. Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

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January 6, 2008, 11:59 am CST

Words Break your heart and your spirit

My mother, a rage-a-holic, bully and verbal abuser, told me to "just ignore" the kids at school that were calling me names and sometimes were physically abusive when no one was looking.  As a matter of fact she yelled at me, asking me what I had done to 'make' them do it.

When you ignore a bully they do what Emeril calls "ramping it up a notch."  They'll do anything to get that reaction that makes them feel so powerful and in control.  It's almost a 'sexual' high for them.  I work with a bully.  A 50 something year old woman from Italy who, after putting words in my mouth that I did not say to get herself all worked up, one day took everyone off for lunch somewhere else.  She had not informed me where they were going and, being under orders to eat with my coworkers to make everything look nice, I had to go looking.  I was annoyed and thought the whole thing stupid.  I watched her get euphoric at the thought she 'hurt' me.  I didn't feel hurt, thank God, but it was annoying.  I have now found a way to have lunch by myself and am much happier.  The punchline to that scenario--she's a huge Dr. Phil fan.

But I digress--bullying is everywhere.  Freedom of speech is misused and abused when it is used to break another's spirit. Ignoring it is not really an option.  It is considered a form of assault.  Assault is illegal.  Whether the bully is an adult, a teen or a child, once caught they need to face the consequences of their actions and be prosecuted.  Some will learn and 'get' that type of behaviour is deviant and the product of an insecure person needing to put someone else down to feel better.  The one's with the extreme control issues will get angry and seek revenge as they do not think they are bullies, they just think they're 'right.' 

Listen up, bullies, you are not 'right' when you seek to strip a child--a teen is still a child finding out who their wonderful self is--when you seek to strip a child of that wonderfulness that is theirs to have.  If I had not got the counseling to get out from under the 'wet wool blanket' my mom and others sought to 'put on me' to dim my light, I would not be in the place I am now with the feeling of belonging among the fine artists I have been working with in my new home. The picture is of myself as The Ghost of Christmas Past (Not long past, your past) with Scrooge. And in 2007, my 49th year of life, my mother, after seeing me in "Man of La Mancha" where I sang as part of a trio, finally said to my face, "Well, you are good."  She finally admitted it--to me.  All these years of "Why don't you work in an office, work for the state, until you're 58, then retire, then do your theatre."   Just think, if she hadn't been so stuck on having it her way, if she hadn't determinedly ignored the artistic talent, if shehadn't wanted me to 'bemore like' my cousin who looks like a super model, if she would have built my self esteem to be the person that I am instead of the person she tried to force me to be, she could have come to more of my shows, (she would find reasons not to attend hoping I would give it up).  Just think, she could have enjoyed seeing some of the fabulous leads I've played. I wouldn't have had to wait 49 years to hear that I am good.  Luckily, and with hard work, I found out before she relented and told me.  And all you bullies back at school.  Too bad.  You missed out on a great friend.

Bullies, hear this, you could be missing out on a really good friend, or enjoying someone's wonderful sense of humor, or even being able to say, "hey, I knew that person when we were in high school."

January 6, 2008, 12:11 pm CST

Yep!! But a Bully is a Bully!

Listen, I am just as guilty as the next person for totally loosing my cool at times, BUT ...A BULLY!  IS  A BULLY!!


Seen TONS!  Been victim lots, also lost it on ppl.  But, when push comes to shuv...bully's are cowardly, if ya meet one...I GOT A TIP!  BE "JESUS LIKE"!  Remember 'GOD's Lesson' on this one...HE SAYS!  React with LOVE, and kindness back....IT KILLS THE BULLY!  Trust me ...seen it work from "Personal Experience" ...and AVOID THEM, if ya can...but if ya can't ...KEEP TRYING "LOVE" ....that is my "best thinking on it ....GOOD LUCK AND HUGS"


OH!  And...Hugs for the Bully's....TIME TO STOP "THAT" behaviour kids!



January 6, 2008, 11:50 pm CST

Can Relate

I can relate to this whole issue completely.  I have a hard time making friends in real life, and thought it would be a good idea to try and make some online friends.  I had about the same amount of luck with that as in real life until I joined a popular parenting message board.  I thought I had it made because everyone there seemed so nice and a lot of us were in similar situations.  I was a member of that message board for about four years, when one day about ten of the members just turned on me for no apparent reason.  I began to get e-mails from some of the members telling me that I was a piece of you-know-what and that I should just go and jump off a cliff.  There was a bunch of postings that were just about me saying that I was crazy, a pathological liar, and that 'if there was anybody who deserved to be run over by a train, it is her'.  I was completely devastated by the things they said!  What was worse was I was extremely ashamed of feeling the way I did.  I felt like an idiot for letting a bunch of strangers toy with my emotions. I didn't tell anyone, even though it was obvious that I was very upset.  Finally, after two weeks, I told my husband, and he was more sympathetic to my situation than I expected.

There wasn't much I could do about it except unregister at the website and block the e-mails.  I did get over it, but I learned that the internet isn't the wonderful place the media makes it out to be.  Actually, bullies thrive there because you can attack people anonoymously.  I only started posting messages on various sites in the last month or so, after three years of not posting anything, but it's only to state my opinion on a subject.  I don't expect to make friends or even talk to people.  Trying to relate to people online is very dangerous, IMO.  Even websites that seem innocent, like a message board for parents of toddlers, is full of trolls and bullies unfortunately.

I was an adult when this incident happened, so I can only imagine what it would feel like when you're 14 years old.  The teenage years are a very vulnerable time in most people's lives.  Though it doesn't seem like a big deal to people who are older or who make friends easily, to people who are young and shy, it could be catastrophic.

I feel sorry for Megan & her parents, but I think it's good Megan's story is in the media so parents can be made more aware of their kids online actitvity.  Hopefully, kids will be more aware about it too, so they can avoid these types of situations online.
January 7, 2008, 4:58 am CST

Cyber Bullies

I have been hurt by people who i thought were friends online. I am an adult, 47. Suddenly people turned on me, called me crazy, told me that my son should commit suicide because having a mother like me is worse than living. They told me I should commit suicide. I talked with these people for 3 years on Teamspeak. It left me so upset, I started to consider suicide. I am going to a counselor now. These were adults doing this. So, not only children go through it. Yeah i have emotional problems, and I have many physical problems as well. I am in constant pain, and sometimes all it takes is a little push, and I have pills in my hand again. So far, I have been able to not follow through. Think before you speak! You don't know what the person on the other end is going through, and they are REAL people, not just cyber names!
January 7, 2008, 10:18 am CST


That lady that did this to her daughter's school mate should have been prosicuted to the fullest extent of the law. Parents need to be aware of their kids actives on the pc and when they see things like this happening they need to step in and take control of the situation. Another thing parents need to remove pcs from the home if kids abuse it as well.
January 7, 2008, 7:28 pm CST

01/08 Cyber Bullies

I have had to change EVERYTHING about my online persona, right down to my e- mail because of this, I have also decided to forego some of my favorite boards because of the name calling and harassment one gets from them (not this one, but I did change my profile ).

What happened ?


I let a "friend" know my  name online, thinking she and I could keep in contact online as well as in reality, what a mistake THAT was, oh well live and learn.

This "Friend" used EVERYTHING against me, she told me one name but used TWO, she was good, I'll give her that, I can't keep one IM conversation going half the time without getting mixed up. She used MY PERSONAL INFO.

Needless to say I no longer speak to in ANY WAY to this "Friend", like I said, "live and Learn" so if anyone recognizes me from last year or whatever, please don't let on, she knew this one too.


January 8, 2008, 2:04 am CST

STOP Crying

I agree with everything on this episode except the man that was crying about being harrassed while playing video games  If you have a problem with someone on XBox Live then you  can block all communications from that gamer.  You can also choose to avoid that gamer for all future games.  As far as his kids playing online he needs to be a responsible parent and set up an underage account for his children.  It blocks all communication from other users except for friends added to his childrens list which the parent will need to enter a password.  XBox Live automatically sets parental controls an all accounts that the birth date does not equal 18.  So if the parent chooses to lie on their kids birthdate then he is to blame.  One more thing.  There is no way that an individual can find out your exact address on XBox Live or by looking up your Gamer Tag from Google.

January 8, 2008, 4:53 am CST

i'm gonna pay for this one

that child was suffering before she ever got online.parents open the wounds first and others pour salt in.i tell my daughter that those who cut you down have grievous troubles that they're trying to avoid but hurting others,just don't have anything to do with them.
January 8, 2008, 6:03 am CST

People have too much free time!

In response to the show I watched today, I think that every adult should have to read the book…."ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN" by Robert Fulghum…  

“All I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.  

These are the things I learned:   

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don't hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don't take things that aren't yours.
  • Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule, and love, and basic sanitation.  Ecology, and politics, and equality, and sane living.    

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.  

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”  


I just can’t believe how anyone would intentionally hurt another person.  There SHOULD be laws on the books for this!  I back up the amendment for freedom of speech, but NOT when it interferes with another’s persute of happiness.  I’m not all that PC, in fact I think that we’re getting out of hand in some instances with it, however in the situation with that council member posting that “joke" on her professional website; I agree that she was wrong.  What you do on your own time and on your own dime is your business, but you’re supposed to be a professional, held to higher standards than others.  One of my favorite sayings (I repeat this over and over to my 4 children) “Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should.”   Sure, you can say ugly things to people, but you shouldn’t.  We can clone people for spare parts (it can be done) but that doesn’t mean that we should.  Where has common sense gone???  Sometimes I wish that someone would just slap these people upside the head to knock some sense into them.  There are too many people with WAY TOO much time on their hands…get a productive hobby, get a job, get a life.   

January 8, 2008, 6:49 am CST

Cyber Bullies

People who use bullying as a way to intimidate other people should be ashamed and they should get help... Whether the girl had issues before this episode or not, the mother, who is supposed to be an adult, should have known better.. She also needs to grow and and pay the consequences for her actions too..


My heart goes out to the mom that lost her daughter. I cannot believe that parents are that insensitive to other people that they would encourage their child to bully someone else. 


I have a daughter, and she gets very upset when someone comes up to her and tries to push her around.. I let her talk about it, and we try to come up with a solution to the problem, and if it persists I go to the proper authorities at the school to resolve the issue.


Everyone has a place in the world, and no one has the right to push them around... Parents do need to monitor what their children do, that is a parents job, but to get that involved and have someone harm themselves is just wrong...


As far as the city official, she needs to remember that she is in a very public position, keep your nasty jokes to yourself... and tell your jokes with people that understand who you are...


Gaming on line, I am sorry that people feel that they can call others nasty names... I just hope that you move careful, and keep your children safe...


I hope that the officials can come up with a solution, this is an age of unlimited technology and lots of ways to get to people... hopefully someone with a good head on their shoulders will come up with a plan to protect us all...

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