Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cyber Bullying Got Me Shoved Today at School

Hubby trying to make me feel better

I can't even believe the events that happened outside and inside my classroom today all because of a cyber bully on Facebook. Extremely long and tiresome story truncated...Approximately 30 students tried to "talk" to one of my boys from the program. One of them succeeded in shoving me out of the way to try to pull my student out of the classroom. This was by far one of the scariest teaching moments I've ever had, and I'm summing it up to get to the real problem. These students showed no fear of me and the other 2 female teachers that tried to get the situation under control.
Luckily one of my students from last term also came to my rescue and helped me to get my classroom doors locked as I waited for the deans to show up (only one did - whole other problem). The piece of the story that prompted me to post is to share as a warning. All of this happened because a male on Facebook, possibly made up because he doesn't show up on any school directory active or past, made a claim that my student was setting up some boys to get jumped. At the same time this same FB bully was threatening to shoot and kill several other students.

It took 4 periods to sort this mess out. Turns out that 10 out 11 students had never met their FB friend. One student was finally found to "may have known" the alleged male years ago and told myself, deans, and security that this individual "was a punk in real life but a real bully online" (thoughts of Columbine anyone?). He basically found one kid to friend him and then everyone else friended him seeing who was on his list.

He's known online for random verbal attacks and threats. This male had tried setting up parties for students, threats of violence, promises of protection and revenge on anyone that messed with "his friends". NOT ONE OF THESE STUDENTS EVER LET THEIR PARENTS KNOW!!!! Mind you my student never even heard of half of these people but, here's the connection, the FB male knew that one of my student's friends "had beef". This little mastermind essentially tried to create a lynch mob, and had it not been for my not backing down and my student's insanely cool thinking under the circumstances, this could have turned out very, very badly.

Parents and people in general, please, please, please DO NOT FRIEND PEOPLE ON FACEBOOK THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW!!

There are some really sick people out there! This poor mother of one of the boys that was going after my student was struck dumb when her son admitted that he almost went to this sicko's party! You know how many horrible pictures we had to paint for these kids for what could have been waiting for them. Not to mention the whole slew of what ifs. What if the party was set up by pedophiles? What if knowing where they all go to school and look like this guys showed up at school to fulfill his threats? What if one of our students decided to bring a gun in to have this "talk" with my student? What if my student in the middle of the melee with 30 kids calling him out decided to swing back on the kid that grabbed him? What if I had gotten injured? I mean the list goes on and on.

These kids lack all types of common sense and don't possess the necessary skills to be responsible members of an online social network such as Facebook. How does someone threaten your teenage life and you not think it important enough to tell your parents or some type of authority figure?!?!?!? I just don't get it!! I will never forget my student's face as all these kids kept asking for him to come out. That kind of fear will not leave that kid for a really long time.

I just...this is not why I teach...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! It's so sad and scary to hear what our kids today are going through. As much as I love technology, it has opened to door to so many additional avenues to menace, ostracize and bully other children.