First, the invasion of privacy is illegal, but more and more people are turning to the internet for the use of updated information. But what happens when you find out that you or your child is victims of cyber bullying?
There are laws to protect you, and you shouldn’t be afraid of using these laws to your advantage. We’ve all heard of the terrible stories where someone was victim of cyber bullying, and later took his or her own life because of it.
The most recent case of cyber bullying claimed the life of a student, Tyler Clementi at Rutgers University, when he jumped to his death off the Washington Bridge last week. According to reports, a mandatory dorm meeting held the day before the student went missing showed only three students were said to spoken to Clementi.
The family’s lawyer, Paul Maynardi confirmed that his body had been recovered by New York Police Department’s Harbor officials after an employee from parks department spotted him Wednesday afternoon floating in the Hudson River just north of the bridge.
Two freshmen are charged with illegally taping the 18-year-old having sex and broadcasting images via an Internet chat program. One of the defendants was his roommate which provided the opportunity to capture the intimate and personal interactions from their dorm room, and another student which helped in the broadcast over the Internet.
The Middlesex County prosecutor's office charged both with two counts each of invasion of privacy, the room mate was also charged with two additional counts of invasion of privacy alleging he attempted to once again capture Clementi two days after his initial attempt made.
The Twitter account of the room mate which since has been deleted made available via cache on Google read:
Sept. 19: "Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly's room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay."
And again two days later: "Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it's happening again."
In New Jersey it's a fourth-degree crime to collect or view sexual images that have been obtained without consent, transmitting them is a third-degree crime. The maximum prison term if convicted is five years. Ravi, Clementi's roommate and the other defendant Molly Wei could face up to five years in prison if they are convicted.
Gay Rights group Garden State Equality Chairman, Steven Goldstein made statement Wednesday indicating their group considered Clementi's death to be that of a hate crime. "There are no words sufficient to express our range of feelings today. We are outraged at the perpetrators," Goldstein said. "We are heartbroken over the tragic loss of a young man who, by all accounts, was brilliant, talented and kind. And we are sickened that anyone in our society, such as the students allegedly responsible for making the surreptitious video, might consider destroying others' lives as a sport."
What to Do If Your Child Is Victimized
First, make sure your child feel (and are) safe and secure, and convey unconditional support. Parents must convey to their children through both words and actions that they want the same end result: that the cyber bully stop.
Next, if necessary the parents should attempt setting up a meeting with the school administrator or a teacher that the child trusts to discuss the matter. Parents may also try to contact the parents of the offender, and/or work with the internet provider, cell phone provider to investigate the issue and have the offending material removed.
The police should be notified when physical threats are involved or a crime has been committed.