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Do Now

We have all met bullies face to face – but what about online? Do you feel safe online? And how can you protect yourself from online bullies?


More than half of American teens are concerned about online safety and know someone their age who has been by cyberbullied. Nearly a third have been targets themselves.
The issue is in the national spotlight as Rutgers University student, Dharun Ravi, is convicted of a “bias crime” for spying on his gay roommate Tyler Clementi (18), using a webcam to record him kissing another man, and then urging fellow students to view the images. Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. Ravi, convicted of “bias intimidation and invasion of privacy,” has now been sentenced to 30 days in jail, far less than the maximum of 10 years.
There are a number of issues here. It has been argued that technology and social networks have increased the incidence of cyberbullying and the exposure of children and teens to harassment, sexual predators and bullies. This concern had led to initiatives such as legislation proposed in California (SB242) to enact privacy policies and practices for social networking sites.

In terms of the cyber-bullies themselves, lawmakers in at least five states, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine and New York, aim to introduce stronger penalties for the types of digital bullying that led students in several states to commit suicide. North Carolina criminalized cyber-bullying in 2009 to, making it a misdemeanor for youths under 18.

But can privacy policies and penalties introduced by legislation, sufficiently protect victims of cyber-bullying? Are there strategies that parents and young people can work on together to prevent, stop or report cyber-bullying? And how can schools and teachers address bullying by adopting policies and making sure they work?


PBS NewsHour segment Why Rutgers Webcam Case Gleaned National Attention
– May 21, 2012
Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi was sentenced to 30 days in prison for using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate, who later jumped to his death from a bridge. Jeffrey Brown and The New York Times’ Kate Zernike discuss the ruling and its implications.

To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

More Resources

KQED Education’s How Cyber-Bullying Happens and How to Stop It
Try out the activities in this lesson on cyberbullying.

KQED MindShift resources on Cyberbullying
How Well Are Schools Teaching Cyber Safety and Ethics?
5 Apps That Could Help to Stop Cyber-bullying


Student’s Tweets for Do Now #33

Do Now #33: Cyberbullying 23 August,2017Maxine Einhorn


Maxine Einhorn

Maxine Einhorn is from London and has lived in the Bay Area for 12 years. She has worked in adult education in London,UK, for over twenty years as a tenured instructor and department manager. She has an MA in Film and TV from University of London and has taught, moderated and appraised academic work in film studies and media literacy at undergraduate and college level. She runs the ESL/ Post Secondary project at KQED which offers media-rich resources for and created by ESL educators.

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