Should Mum buy into cyberbully game?

cyberbully gameThe Herald Sun has reported that, ‘An Australian mum has named and shamed a 12-year-old cyber bully who has been tormenting her daughter. Anne-Marie Schmidt posted a screen shot on her Facebook page of the girl’s Instagram post, which incites other grade sixes to call her daughter Mackenzie a “b*tch”.  The post from the girl reads: “Question – does anyone like Mackenzie? She’s being a b*tch to me, check my photo of all my friends… She commented on it. I HATE HER AND I DONT CARE IF ANYONE TELLS HER!!! HeHe” A number of other children – some of whom are mutual friends of the pair – replied and agreed. One even posted: “She is a b*tch alright”.’  Click on the link below to read more.
Nasty indeed!  And while I understand the anger that a Mum can feel when her child is attacked there are at least three problems with her reaction.   Firstly ,Mum probably has only one side of the story.  I have been in the business of sorting out fights between girls for a long, long time and I know that there are always at least 2 sides to a story and often many more.  None of our daughters are squeaky clean, no matter what you think!  Secondly, posting a screen shot on Facebook is buying into the cyberbullying paradigm.  Two wrongs don’t make a right however satisfying it feels.  Thirdly, in posting the screenshot, the name of the girl who wrote the post has been displayed.  This opens her up to ridicule (which Mum might feel she deserves) but she is a 12 year old child and needs education more than humiliation.
If it were during school time I would ask the school to help mediate this situation and I think most schools would willingly help parents with this predicament.  I know I have been asked for help before.  With school out, unless you are on good terms with the parents and can discuss the matter in an adult way, accepting that both girls have probably said and done the wrong thing, it is probably best to simply delete the app, remembering that Instagram is for over 13 year olds, and stop the conversation in its tracks.
I have found that where there is no audience there is usually no performance!
Mother names cyber bully girl, 12, who torments her daughter | Herald Sun.

About Renata Rowe

Deputy Head of Campus/Head of Secondary, Ivanhoe Grammar School, Plenty Campus This blog is the School's way of helping our parents and teachers understand and experience the cyber world that their children live in. We post stories about the latest cyber safety issues, and the latest social mediums that their children and teens might be using. We believe that teaching children and teens to be good Digital Citizen from a young age will protect them and their reputations. Our parents have been delighted and have subscribed so that they can receive our updates - we post about once or twice a week. So subscribe - its easy to do, just enter your email address in the box in the top righthand corner of the home page and posts will automatically be delivered to you.
This entry was posted in Apps for Teens and Tweens, Cyber Bullying, Cyber Safety, cyberbullying, cybersafety, Dangers, Facebook, Instagram, Internet safety, Parental Controls, Parents, Tweens and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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