I've had to deal with some really horrible bullying and cyberbullying. But I've tried to fight the good fight and to do something about it on a bigger scale, especially because I kept meeting others who were struggling, too. With my mind and heart heavy due to my situation and that of others, I started to research cyberbullying. Ryan Halligan, Megan Meier, Jeffrey Johnston, and more and more names kept coming up. Reading their stories and the decisions they made to end their cyberbullying cut me deeply. I remembered an organization my mom had told me about called DoSomething.org. It's a place for kids and teens to do something to better the world. I decided to create Unbreakable, a project to help me heal as well as heal others who were bullied. I didn't have much of a plan at first—I just knew my goal was to end cyberbullying.
Soon, I got more passionate and wanted to tell more people what was happening. I wanted to be a voice for all victims of bullying. I printed out hundreds of pages of websites made just to attack kids. I sent a letter describing myself, my Unbreakable project, stories of suicide, and pages and pages of bullying sites to media outlets, politicians, law enforcement, celebrities, school superintendents, and anyone else I hoped would listen. The Tampa Tribune, ABC News, and Bay News 9 responded. Soon I was on a media train with Unbreakable. I created an Unbreakable Facebook fan page. My page targeted cyberbullies and the creators of the cruel sites. It also told the stories of Ryan, Megan, and Jeffrey. In the beginning, the page was mostly a surge of congratulations to "whoever this is" speaking out. (Before the media buzz, I didn't tell people that I was behind Unbreakable.) One student who had previously cyberbullied people posted, "I don't know who this is but you are an inspiration to me. Thank you for standing up and speaking out." I think it's awesome that my project has encouraged others to change their ways, and that Unbreakable got a lot more students to think and care about this important issue.
My daughter was the target of cyber bullying. Although it occurred only once on the computer, I still consider it bullying. A group of girls downloaded her MySpace pictures and wrote hateful and obscene comments about her. They then sent it out to all of their friends. People began calling our home and telling us about the site. As soon as I called one of the parents, the web page began deleting--but not before a friend printed a copy of the first page of it. I didn't get all of it, but I got enough. These same girls continue to make references to my daughter on line, without actually saying her name, but we know they are talking about her. The worst part is that none of the parents will hold their daughters accountable because only one actually did the typing. We are left angry, hurt, and paranoid about what these girls will do next. These people were supposed to be friends, but one got mad at my daughter and then a group of these girls just thought it would be funny to make this web page. What recourse is there? That's what I'd like to know.Mother from USA