Cyber-Bullying Does Not Happen In a Vacuum

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It takes a lot of bullying and all round cruelty to push someone to kill themselves. And, usually, there are opportunities, several, if not more, to intervene, and protect the victim of the attacks. Bullying does not happen in a vacuum. There are witnesses. Bullies get some self-satisfaction from tormenting another person.

We need to interrupt that cycle. Remove whatever gratification they are getting from being cruel to another person. When Dharun Ravi tweeted about his speculation that his roommate was having a date with another man, his tweet was surely read by someone - most likely a number of people. And, when Ravi secretly recorded and broadcast on the Internet that Tyler Clementi, his roommate, was making out with a man, there was undoubtedly an audience. Yet, there are no reports of someone, anyone, objecting to what was clearly a cruel, unkind act by Ravi. No one seems to have alerted school officials. At least two days passed before Tyler Clementi took his life.

If we really want to do something about bullying, we need to each take responsibility for doing something when we see it happening. We can't put blame only on the bully, or the school administration, or the bully's parents.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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