Cyber-bullying case expected to go to trial next week

In News & Feature Reporting class on Feb. 16, we talked about the upcoming trial of accused cyber-bully Dharun Ravi. Students Emily Coyne and Marissa Marinan went into the streets with a video camera and asked passersby a few questions related to bullying. Their video is below:

Students Larry Griffin and Michael O’Hara also asked passersby about bullying. Monique Udell, a psychology teacher in St. Augustine, Fla., told Griffin that some people bully because they are insecure. They bully “because they get something out of it. They can control their life.”
Asked how bully could be stopped, she said:

Making consequences more explicit. Setting expectations. Following through with consequences. Making bullying less valued.

Justin Sooter, a sophomore at Flagler College, said:

People turn a blind eye to bullying and they don’t want to get involved. We need to make it clear that it isn’t acceptable.

Amy Hendrickson. Photo: Michael O'Hara

Amy Hendrickson, 29, a musician in St. Augustine, told O’Hara:

People need to be aggressively compassionate toward other people.

Student Eric Albury came up with the following statistics related to bullying and suicide:

One million children were harassed, threatened, or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on Facebook in the past year!
Approximately 20% of the students report experiencing cyberbullying in their lifetimes.

Source: Puresight

About 9 out of 10 LGBT teens have reported being bullied at school within the past year because of their sexual orientation, according to the most recent gay bullying statistics.
About 30 percent of all completed suicides have been related to sexual identity crisis. Students who also fall into the gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgendered identity groups report being five times as more likely to miss school because they feel unsafe after being bullied due to their sexual orientation.


Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.


Student Santiago Martinez-Caro dug up a 2005 survey that said students “were most often bullied because of their appearance, but the next top reason was because of actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender expression.”

Martinez-Caro also found a 2007 survey of more than 6,000 students by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. It said:

  • Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT youth reported being verbally harassed at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation
  • Nearly half (44.1 percent) reported being physically harassed
  • About a quarter (22.1 percent) reported being physically assaulted.
  • Nearly two-thirds (60.8 percent) who experienced harassment or assault never reported the incident to the school
  • Of those who did report the incident, nearly one-third (31.1 percent) said the school staff did nothing in response

Suggested reading:
New Yorker article on Clementi case
Ravi indictment

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