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Education The Internet

Schools Act to Short-Circuit 'Cyberbullying' 358

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "So-called cyberbullying is a growing problem for school administrators, the Wall Street Journal reports. What may once have been snickers in the hallway can now be an excruciatingly public humiliation spread via email, text messaging and online teen forums. From the article: '"There's always the legal discussion of 'if it doesn't happen at school, can a district take action?'" says Joe Wehrli, policy-services director for the Oregon School Boards Association. "If a student is harassed for three hours at night on the Web and they come to school and have to sit in the same classroom with the student that's the bully, there is an effect on education, and in that way, there is a direct link to schools," he argues.'"
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Schools Act to Short-Circuit 'Cyberbullying'

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  • Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PieSquared ( 867490 )
    Shouldn't they be stopping *real* bullying, where someone gets beat up, before they try to tackle "cyber" bullying?

    I mean, it isn't going to work... how do you stop people from talking to each other, and doesn't that raise ethical/censorship concerns? This just means that you don't have to be the biggest guy in school to bully somebody. Get an anonymous email and do it that way, and "we" get our turn bullying...

    Seriously, you (a school) can't stop kids from using IM, E-mail, and forums. Only their parent
    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Silver Sloth ( 770927 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:13AM (#17751950)

      Sticks and stones may break my bones
      but words will never hurt me
      This is the biggest load of bullshit ever. Words hurt, really hurt and the damage done by psychological bullying is far deeper than physical bullying.

      Schools here in the UK have as part of their remit to tackle the serious problem of bullying in whatever form it may take. I applaud this initiative.
      • by khasim ( 1285 )
        So the kids are working in the food service industry after school. Does the school have the right to tell them ANYTHING about how they'll behave there?

        After all, bullying at work can affect them at school when they have to sit in the same classroom as the person who is bullying them at work.

        The school's authority ends when the school day ends and where the school grounds end.
        • by Silver Sloth ( 770927 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:30AM (#17752256)

          Does the school have the right to tell them ANYTHING about how they'll behave there?
          No, but is does have the need to teach them how to behave there. Education should be about a lot more than the three 'R's, it's where you learn social skills as well.
          • No, but is does have the need to teach them how to behave there. Education should be about a lot more than the three 'R's, it's where you learn social skills as well.

            Here, let me put it in real world terms for you.

            A bunch of kids are working at McDonald's after school. Someone craps all over the bathroom. The manager is NOT going to assign the most popular kid to clean it up, is he? He's going to assign the unpopular kid. That's life. And that kid is going to be teased about it the next day at school. That'

            • by Silver Sloth ( 770927 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @12:11PM (#17752894)
              Maybe this reflects one of the differences between the US and the UK. A significant portion of my education, back in the 60's, and of my son's education (ongoing) was/is related to social skills. I'm not saying that it's the schools responsibility to deal with episodes which happen at MacD's but that behviour will, inevitably, be part of a pattern which is repeated in school which is their responsibility, both social, and, in the UK, legal.

              So, back in the real world, when my son was being bullied, both in and out of school, it was the school which dealt with it, in co-ordination with all the students and parents involved. It wasn't a witch hunt, it wasn't trial of the century, it was simply the forum where issues like that can be resolved in a non-confruntational manner.
              • I'm not saying that it's the schools responsibility to deal with episodes which happen at MacD's but that behviour will, inevitably, be part of a pattern which is repeated in school which is their responsibility, both social, and, in the UK, legal.

                Emphasis added.

                But that isn't what the discussion is about. Nor is it what the article was about.

                This is about whether the school has the right to interfere in non-school activities during non-school hours on non-school grounds.

                If someone is being bullied at schoo

                • by rizzo420 ( 136707 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @03:10PM (#17756266) Homepage Journal
                  i'm gonna guess you don't have a kid, never been bullied (at school or otherwise), and have never worked in or for a school of any kind.

                  if bullying is occurring between classmates, it's the school's business because it does have a direct effect on the school and schooling of all involved, no matter when or where the bullying is occurring. your mcdonald's example of cleaning up crap has nothing to do with being popular, the manager would generally assign that task to either the new guy or quite possibly do it himself (i wouldn't have someone whose normal tasks involve handling food clean up crap, you've obviously never worked in food service either). the reason the bullying is occurring in the first place is because those involved are classmates, not because they're just kids who happened to meet but go to different schools (which does happen in parks and playgrounds, but this isn't related to that). also, many times parents don't even know the bullying is happening. the school usually finds out because they can see the effects of it (and are generally more experienced with the effects of it and dealing with it than parents). so while the actions might be happening online from home, the effect is to frighten the victim while in the presence of the bully, which is usually at school. meaning, direct relationship to school.
              • Answer (Score:3, Funny)

                by Mark_MF-WN ( 678030 )
                The answer is so simple, and once again the Yanks are showing us the way: every kid needs to have a gun. After all, children have just as much right to defend themselves as adults, and significantly more NEED to defend themselves. How many kids are going to be brave enough to bully someone that can shoot them in the face and claim self-defense? Watch child-abduction evaporate overnight (this fits in well with my idea of giving each child a collar with a high-explosive charge in it).

                Guns tamed the wild w

      • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Kray1975 ( 1055642 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:28AM (#17752200)
        Mod Silver Sloth up. Almost all bullying is mental, not physical. Again, from personal expereince, I was bullied by girls. I was never bullied by boys because they didn't want a physical confrontation with me. It was constant sniping and ridiculing to put me down. If they had access to the internet as well back then, life would have been pretty unbearable. I'm not sure how this can be controlled, or if it should, as it all smacks of censorship. But the schools have a duty to inform all the parents on all sides. Very few parents would enjoy hearing that their darling is a vicious little bully. If that doesn't work, expel the little bastards, so at least the victim doesn't have to see them every day.
        • Re:Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:47AM (#17752512)
          Yeah, usually physical abuse is just one part of it. All my physical wounds have long since healed from my days of being bullied. I've been hurt much worse in boxing matches and it doesn't phase me. But the mental wounds never really heal. It's been probably ten years since anyone bullied me. I lift weights, I'm a boxer and I'm pretty big...so no one looking at me would think I was bullied. But my ego is totally smashed. When you go through years of being a total whipping boy for every sadistic asshole at your school and the "authorities" can't or won't do anything you can't just "snap out of it". Now I'm hopelessly shy, no confidence with women, I always feel like an outsider even with people I've known for years...people want to know what the hell is wrong with me. I was bullied and tormented every day all through the formative years of my life that's what!

          Also there's such a stigma attached to being bullied that no one even talks about it. It's like sexual abuse, it's just something you can't casually talk about. It really is serious. Maybe someone should make some kind of anonymous support group for survivors. Is "survivors" to extreme? No. Get tormented every day for ten years and you are going to have mental issues, sorry!
          • Re:Well... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Emetophobe ( 878584 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @04:39PM (#17757792)
            I still feel the same way. I was bullied in high school too. I actually tried to take my own life in grade 9 because of all the torture I went through, I stopped going to school for a while and my education suffered because of it. I was also abused by my father between the ages of 5 and 15. I'm still not right from it, I'm not able to socialize with anyone. I suffer from severe anxiety, stress, various social phobias and emetophobia (hense my nickname), which is the fear of vomitting (in public mostly). My anxiety issues are so severe that it causes nausea and vomitting (not good if you have a fear of vomitting!!) I can't meet women, because I get nervous, and when I get nervous, it builds and builds to the point of vomitting, and that's pretty fucking embarrassing (not to mention a bad first impression).

            I have a lot of fears, but speaking up against bullying and abuse isn't one of them. IMO, it should be a criminal offense to bully someone to the point where you deprive them of their right to an education.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by RyoShin ( 610051 )
            Here here. Well said.

            And it's like looking in a freaking mirror. I only had seven or eight years of actual bullying, and then it only got physical once, but I still wear the mental scars on the inside. I'm also very shy, as you are, to the point that I'm somewhat scared of going new places or meeting new people without a friend in tow. I've never been able to approach women, and have basically given up on trying to get a girlfriend until after I graduate college. Hell, forget girlfriends, I can't even mak
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          It sounds to me like you have some growing up left to do before you realize that all people are people - not just you. Think about this from the teacher's perspective (the poor $25,000/yr civil servant you seek to burden with yet more responsibility for sanitizing the first 18 years of a person's life before sending them out, unprepared into the big bad Real World) - "Oh, shit - Kray1975 and Big Meanie are bickering again. Now I have to break it up and take sides. Damn, whose self-esteem do I damage this

      • Tough Shit (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DavidShor ( 928926 )
        I was bullied in elementary school(I read encyclopedias during any free time). I was made fun of, but this never really bothered me, children are rarely more original then "Stupid-But". What was far worse was when my (expensive) books were dumped in toilets.

        You do not have the right not to be offended, and neither do children. In life, there are going to be many people who won't like you, and as such, you have to develop your own inner self independent from the opinions of others.

        Now, if an adult hits a

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "Real" bullying is all mental. Physical abuse is only a small part of it. Bullies like to make other people feel inferior because it in turn makes them feel superior, and if they can do that without the bother of beating someone then in my experience they will. I was bullied badly in school, yet I was very rarely involved in any physical confrontations.
      • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by GeckoX ( 259575 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:36AM (#17752354)
        Here here.

        Actually, I was rarely physically bullied as even in most unfair fights, 2 on 1 kind of thing, you'd better had been REAL sure you wanted to pick it with me before we got into it. Holding your own against a couple of fucking assholes actually makes you feel pretty good.

        But when a dozen fucking assholes surround you and torment you verbally, day in and day out, it really is not a good thing. Back in the day, this stuff was completely ignored. Heck, I got in trouble more often than my tormentors. They'd push me to my limit, I'd push back, and I'd get suspended for that kids bloody nose. Even though it was that group of a dozen kids that didn't take the bus home so they could follow me all the way home tormenting me every step of the way.

        My crime? Being one of the ~15% of my public school that lived in the neighborhood. The rest were bussed in. Just about all of us that actually lived in the area were 'outsiders' and tormented relentlessly.

        At least things changed when we hit high school. I went to a very diversely populated high school. Started playing football. I hate football. But I got to play against a LOT of my former tormentors. Offensive Tackle is a very good position I can tell you, and vengeance is sweet no matter what your mom says.

        Back to the point. Things can only be worse now with the available technologies to not only torment relentlessly, even after kids have gone home. But the added ability to do so anonymously. Someone absolutely should be dealing with this kind of thing. And really, how are parents supposed to do this? They'd have to monitor all this communication. Figure out that this tormentor is actually Bad Billy from a couple blocks over. Talk to his parents that have the attitude "How Fucking Dare You Accuse My Son Of Shit" (While bad billy is in the back room torturing the cat). Parents really can't do shit.

        But the education system however. They can separate kids. They can give kids detention. They can suspend kids. They can teach kids. They can mediate. They can keep kids that refuse to behave civilly from playing the sports they want to until they smarten up. They can have some authority backing them up when discussing issues with problem children's parents.

        This is not about freedom of speech. Not even a little bit. Freedom of speech or not, I still would be well advised to not come utter death threats to your face. Freedom of speech is not intended to be a get out of jail free card or a license to ruin someones life.

        And for all you parents out there that have a Bad Billy but refuse to accept it, here's the truth: Bad Billy is truly Bad. He's a fucking asshole. He's going to end up living out life in jail if you don't do something about it NOW. It's not everyone else out there. It's not the education system. It's your child, and your lack of parenting. Period.
        • Re:Well... (Score:4, Informative)

          by RyoShin ( 610051 ) <tukaro@NoSPam.gmail.com> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @12:40PM (#17753466) Homepage Journal
          They can keep kids that refuse to behave civilly from playing the sports they want to until they smarten up.
          And keep them from going to the state championships?! That, dear sir, is un-American!

          And one of the major problems with schools today. No longer learning institutions, it's a place where your kid goes to learn math and letters for the first few years, and then spend all of high school trying to become a big name in the sport of their choice. And the parents and schools encourage this.

          Sport programs are fine, but when education (and funding as such) and fair treatement take a back seat to it, it becomes an issue. Too often students in any kind of sport get preferntial treatement because they can throw a ball really far (which is a fairly useless skill, except for the sport itself).

          I recall a story from late last year. Two high school kids were pushing a fake deer in front of cars or something as "a practical joke". Well, their practical joke made a fellow student wind up in the hospital for months. In court, the judge deferred their punishment SO THEY COULD PLAY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. Said some bullshit about town pride or something.

          Town pride is respecting other citizens and the town, which means you don't steal a fake deer and throw it in front of cars. Not letting potential criminals play fucking football.
          • Re:Well... (Score:5, Informative)

            by Eccles ( 932 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @03:32PM (#17756706) Journal
            Or heck, this from Columbine, site of the infamous shooting:

            "Here is more of what the [Washington] Post found was going on at Columbine:

                                    Bullying was rampant and unchecked. For instance, a father told Post reporters about two athletes mercilessly bullying his son, a Jew, in gym class. They sang songs about Hitler, pinned the youngster to the ground, did "body twisters" on him until he was black-and- blue, and even threatened to set him on fire. The father reported the bullying to the gym teacher, but it continued. When the father took his complaint to the guidance counselor, he said, he was told, "This stuff can happen." The outraged father had to complain to the school board to get relief for his son.

                                    Athletes convicted of crimes were neither suspended from games nor expelled from school. The homecoming king, a star football player, was on parole for burglary yet still permitted to play. Columbine's state wrestling champ was allowed to compete despite being on court-ordered probation, and school officials did nothing when he regularly parked his $100,000 Hummer all day in a fifteen-minute parking space.

                                    Sexual harassment by athletes was common and ignored. For example, when a girl complained to her teacher that a football player was making lewd comments about her breasts in class, the teacher, also a football and wrestling coach, suggested she change her seat. When an athlete loudly made similar comments at a Columbine wrestling match, the girl complained to the coach. He suggested she move to the other side of the gym. Finally, the girl complained to a woman working at a concession stand, who called police. The next day a school administrator tried to per suade the girl's mother to drop the charges, telling her that press ing them would prevent the boy from playing football. When the youngster was found guilty, he still was permitted to play."

            http://www.newfoundations.com/Clabaugh/CuttingEdge /Columbine.html [newfoundations.com]

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by garcia ( 6573 )
      Shouldn't they be stopping *real* bullying, where someone gets beat up, before they try to tackle "cyber" bullying?

      No, they shouldn't unless it is physical. I dealt with a ton of taunting when I was in school. It took a toll on me but in the end I ended up being a much stronger and thick skinned individual for it. Petty non-sense in the workplace doesn't affect my job and my personal life like it seems to affect everyone else; I think that's a very important thing...

      This type of "life lesson" either make
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        So causing someone to 'crash emotionally under the pressure' is fine? It's their fault for not being tough enough?

        Oh, I met lots like you when I was thirteen, many who said it was my fault for not being 'man enough', for being different, for not being good at sports, for taking pleasure and pride in learning. Believe me, the kicks, the punches, were nothing compared to the psychological hurts. I almost welcomed them because after they had finished at least they left me alone. Bruising fades but even now,
        • And did you ever act like you knew everything? That other people were "stupid" compared to you, and did you ever treat them as such, even unknowingly? Do you think that the people who DIDN'T excel at academics would just take this in stride?

          It goes both ways. You can only be as hurt as you allow yourself to be. Realize that other people can be as threatened by you as you are by them, and it becomes a lot clearer.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by AK Marc ( 707885 )
            And did you ever act like you knew everything? That other people were "stupid" compared to you, and did you ever treat them as such, even unknowingly? Do you think that the people who DIDN'T excel at academics would just take this in stride?

            Ah yes, when all else fails, blame the victim. I bet you think that women in short skirts are asking for it too. When asked how he did on a test and he answers "I got a 100" he's hurting all those around them. When give the choice of classes between remedial Earth s
      • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:56AM (#17752682) Homepage

        It took a toll on me but in the end I ended up being a much stronger and thick skinned individual for it.

        Did you ever think that people are different, and bullying might affect them differently? I'm sure there's people out their that are stronger people because they were abused as a child.. but that doesn't mean we should tolerate child abuse.

        Sheesh. When will people stop assuming their personal experiences aren't always universal?
        • by garcia ( 6573 )
          Sheesh. When will people stop assuming their personal experiences aren't always universal?

          Verbal taunting by other kids is *not* child abuse. It's verbal abuse but nothing more. Please do not cheapen the term "child abuse" by purposefully confusing the two.
    • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Billosaur ( 927319 ) * <wgrother@oEINSTE ... minus physicist> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:28AM (#17752202) Journal

      Shouldn't they be stopping *real* bullying, where someone gets beat up, before they try to tackle "cyber" bullying?

      Define "real." Whether physical, psychological, or emotional, bullying is bullying. It is one person attempting to dominate another, based on completely arbitrary social/physical boundaries ("I'm bigger than you," "I'm smarter than you," "I'm richer than you"). The fact is, schools have never come up with concerted efforts to stop bullying, and frankly, without constant surveillance, it's nearly impossible. A bully isn't going to do something to someone in proximity to someone in authority; that's why "cyber-bullying" is the new rage, because it's more "anonymous" than doing it to someone's face. The only way they will be caught is the the person being bullied reports it, and that's the point of the bullying: to make them hesitate to tell anyone, so they can continue to be used as someone else's form of entertainment.

      What I don't think the cyber-bullies understand is that because it's technology-driven, they can be tracked. The hoops they would have to jump through to cover their tracks is probably beyond the grasp of the vast majority of bullies. Mind you, you are now seeing the ascendancy of the "techno-savvy" bully, who bullies other because he/she has superior technical skills/knowledge.

      • What I don't think the cyber-bullies understand is that because it's technology-driven, they can be tracked. The hoops they would have to jump through to cover their tracks is probably beyond the grasp of the vast majority of bullies.

        Sadly, I think this is also true of the authorities who might be able to stop this. Both parents and teachers probably lack the know-how to trace IP addresses, let alone any other tools. Fighting cyber-bullying in that way will probably involve expenses in both equipment and sk

        • But in this day and age, the authorities in many places have access to those techniques and technologies, as the incidence of cyber-crime has risen. And if a bully is making threats against or harassing a child, that can be reported to the authorities and be made a legal matter. I think in many cases, if some juvenile delinquent gets called out for his/her bullying and is brought before the police or a judge, they might suddenly get the idea that what they're doing isn't worth the effort. The fact is it's t

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Alioth ( 221270 )
      Verbal bullying is very real, especially to a teenager who isn't the most rational person to start with (and will likely react in some way). Verbal bullying can be extremely destructive, as much so as physical bullying. It should be taken every bit as seriously as physical bullying. (And often the two are combined).

    • Seriously, you (a school) can't stop kids from using IM, E-mail, and forums.

      Speaking as an educator in a private school, no we don't believe for a second we can stop kids from talking to each other. But there are a bunch of reasons why schools need to make the effort:

      1. Legal issues - as a institution offering a "safe environment", schools need to show due diligence in protecting the students or we open ourselves up to lawsuits

      2. Community - stuff that happens "out there" more often than not affects how ki

  • A New Playground (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Apocalypse111 ( 597674 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:06AM (#17751854) Journal
    The thing that I find somewhat amusing about the whole issue of "cyber-bullying" is that the online world is the traditional playground of geeks. Now those geeks are getting picked on in their playground instead of just the one at school - the difference being that in this playground, the geeks are the bigger, stronger ones. So, you decided to try to mess with me online eh? Lets see how tough you act when your Myspace page is filled with horse porn, and your parents' inbox is filled with spam from the darkest corners of the web, with your name in them. Still acting tough? Whoops, sorry, I guess my finger slipped and I sharded all your purples in WoW. And distributed your gold to everyone in Ironforge (you Alliance pansy). And got you kicked out of your guild. So, stop picking on me at school, and I'll stop destroying you at home and online. Deal?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dan Slotman ( 974474 )
      Bullying is a mindset, and has nothing to do with how big and strong one is. At the point someone is willing to get personal satisfaction and validation by causing another emotional or physical pain, they have crossed the line from healthy to sadistic. It would be intellectually dishonest to say that cyber-bullying is justified because "geeks were picked on first." In the real world, two wrongs do not make a right.
      • Re:A New Playground (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:24AM (#17752132) Homepage Journal
        At the point someone is willing to get personal satisfaction and validation by causing another emotional or physical pain, they have crossed the line from healthy to sadistic ... In the real world, two wrongs do not make a right.

        In the real world, self-defense is both a right and a duty.

        Back when I was in high school, 20+ years ago, I didn't have the worry about cyber-bullying; I was more concerned about the physical, hands-on kind. This lasted precisely until the point where I learned to fight back. And I still have very vivid memories of hurting people, and of the satisfaction I took in it; does that make me a sadist? I don't think so -- I certainly don't go looking for fights these days, or try to hurt people in any way. The satisfaction was equal parts getting my own back and knowing that I was finally putting a stop to the torment that had made my life hell for years.

        You know what? It worked. After a year or so of fighting damn near every day with people who had considered me their own personal punching bag, the bullying stopped. And not just for me, but for many of my equally victimized friends. That may have been "two wrongs" -- hell, it may have been a hundred wrongs -- but damned if it didn't make things right.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Dan Slotman ( 974474 )
          Bullying is fundamentally different than self-defense. If you insult me and I make a snappy comeback and if you hit me and I hit you back, that's one thing. However, If you insult me, and I devote the next few hours to destroying your reputation among our peers, I think that is a completely different story.

          If I'm a cyberbully and destroy your reputation among our peers, it is difficult for you to repair that with a snappy comeback. Cyberbullying has the same potential for harm that physical bullying d
          • I agree that bullying is never justified. What I'm saying -- and I can understand if you disagree -- is that IMO the exact same action, whether it's punching someone in the face or saying nasty things about them on MySpace, may be bullying in one instance and self-defense in another.
        • In the real world, self-defense is both a right and a duty.
          And what happens when you can't defend yourself? What are your rights then? What's your duty?

          Of course, the classic example is the smaller (male) kid being physically assaulted by the larger (male) kid. Indeed, this can be extended to an inexpierienced kid being assaulted by an expierienced, scuffle a day, kid. The standard response is to tell the kid to "Get Tough", "Learn to Fight Back" or some other equally useless advice.

          Advice like that is akin to telling someone whos house has been burgled to "Buy Better Locks", or to telling a woman who has been raped "Don't Go Out At Night". The advice, may help prevent a repeat occurennce, but does nothing about the crime that has already been committed.

          You're walking down the street, going about your business. Someone pickpockets/robs you. Imagine you can in fact name the person responsible and you report the incident to an officer cop. Imagine having the cop say to you "Sir, Self Defense is a Duty. You should have given chase/defended yourself. If you can do neither, you need to get tougher and/or faster. I'm not going to investgate this any further." Basically, the cop tells you to shove it, despite the fact you can even name your assailant.

          I imagine you'd be pretty irritated with the cop. Yet you give exactly the same advice to people who have been assaulted, battered, slandered and libeled. They are expected to simply accept that injustices have been committed against them and will never be rectified? Is that just? Is that dignified? Will defending yourself against future injustices somehow "make up" for past ones?

          The problem lies in "children's" exemption from the laws of the land. Even when those "children" would be considered full adults in many societies, and virtually all past ones. Our concept of a "child" has extended itself higher and higher up the age scale, until we are faced with near fully grown teenagers being bestowed with the same "purity" and "innocence" as a day old infant.

          Crimes are being committed in our second level educational institutions. Crimes for which no one is held to account. If there's something people can do without being held to account, odds are, they'll do it. I favour holding teenagers accountable for their actions. I don't think its unreasonable. I wouldn't try them as adults, but neither would I grant them carte blanche to do as they pleased. Isn't it funny how all this bullying nonsense, in all its forms, drops dramatically the moment people reach the age of majority? I wounder why that could be?

          And to those people who think that "roughhousing" and "teasing" are all a part of growing up, I dismiss your claims. If young people feel an urge to get physical, they should join a sports club. If they feel an urge tease, they should join a drama group or write. "Children", like everyone, should put their energies and talents to worthwhile use, not have them stagnate and emerge as bile to spit on those around them.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            You may have read something into my post that wasn't there; I fully agree that the school (and, if necessary, the law) should punish bullies, and try to prevent bullying. I'd have been delighted if the school had kept me out of that situation in the first place! But just as you say "buying better locks" is an after-the-fact reaction, so is punishment. My point is that students who are ready to defend themselves are less likely to be bullied at all. By no means do I advocate that children who tell their
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GeckoX ( 259575 )

        Further, all the bullies I had in school were individually very weak individuals. Physically, but more importantly, mentally. This is why they bully in the first place, because they are weak and have low self esteem, confidence etc. The only thing that makes them feel good is to make someone else feel worse than they do.

        Where does this come from? Home of course. Most children that are bullies get bullied at home themselves, either by their parent(s) or an older sibling or what have you.

        And people
    • I'd guess that the kids who are getting the worst of the "cyber-bullying" aren't the kind of geeks who have the technical skills to take appropriate revenge. IOW, they're not the hackers; they're the "art fags" and "drama nerds" and "book dorks" who are still considered targets in the vicious high school social hierarchy, but whose chosen geekiness doesn't give them skills that are useful for fighting back.
      • by GeckoX ( 259575 )
        That's a nice spin you put on it. But you're wrong.

        Bullies simply pick on those weaker than them. If you're at a drama school, it won't be the drama kids being bullied. It'll be the lone jock.

        It's not about being a nerd. It's about who's the easiest target. Bullies are weak. As weak as they come. They NEVER pick a target that they can't beat, at least while they have the herd behind them. And that herd will always consist of the majority.
        • At a drama school, maybe so. (Do drama schools, and other magnet schools, even have football teams?) But at a typical high school, where the social hierarchy is designed by the school administration so that jocks are number one, actors bullying athletes isn't the way it works, and you know it.

          You're quite right that bullies pick on the weakest victim. That's my point. If the computer nerd can devastate the football player's life in response to a mean page on Teh Interwebs, but the tuba player doesn't kn
          • by GeckoX ( 259575 )
            No, I don't know it. I concede that in your experience though that's what you've seen in terms of hierarchy. There are certainly a lot of schools in the US that do put a focus on sports.

            In my experience however, the bullying I went through occurred in public school. As I mentioned in another post on here, it was purely because of where the kids lived. Most of the kids were bussed in from a newer suburb. Us local kids were the outsiders, and we got bullied relentlessly. The social hierarchy was purely based
            • Okay, your experience was different from mine, which was also at a public school; I suspect the difference was that my school had fairly settled district boundaries without any major distinction between who was bused in and who walked. Presumably the situation you describe at your school was temporary -- sooner or later, the new suburb won't be new any more. And I honestly think that my experience was more typical, but of course I don't really know.

              The thing is, in more settled schools without sharp geogr
    • Woah dude. Nobody said it's just geeks who get picked on, for being geeks. When I was in high school, one of the school's most popular girls went through a nasty case of harassment that even got the principal involved. Hell, I was picked on in grade 5 by a group of grade 1's, and look how cool I am! It happens to all kinds. Get over yourself.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )
      "Now those geeks are getting picked on in their playground instead of just the one at school - the difference being that in this playground, the geeks are the bigger, stronger ones."

      Get with the future, the tools ar available to everyone, not just to 'Geeks'. Most of whom chouldn't do anything on the internet besides write comments and download music.

      By the way? your example relies on telling them who you are in a public manner; which will:
      Get you banned in WoW, in trouble from your parents, and investigate
      • Yes, the tools are available to anyone, but not everyone will either a) know how to use them, or b) know that they exist. And yes, my specific example may rely on admission of guilt, but other many possibilities exist. Instead of making a direct live and let-live ultimatum, you could simply destroy their lives through their online presence, effectively and anonymously, without anyone but yourself ever knowing. For example, take a laptop and a wireless card to an open WAP. Use TOR to send some emails fro
    • 1. Two wrongs don't make a right. Being a sociopathic asshole as revenge still makes you a sociopathic asshole. No more, no less. It does not a moral high ground make.

      2. Much as I'd like to think you're some uber-l33t haxx0r that hacks right into Blizzard's login servers at the fall of a hat, reality is a lot less glamourous. If there were that easy to hack that, the gold farmer gang would have done it long ago, because they make RL money selling that gold. And frankly, the average high-school nerd isn't ha
  • Anybody who manages to get themselves targetted and bullied online deserves to have their internet user license revoked, their AOL CDs smashed, and forced to take a defensive surfing class taught by Bobo the circus ape.
    • Before I saw your 5 digit ID, I was all ready to say "You must be new here, welcome to /."

      I kid, I kid.
  • by RyoShin ( 610051 ) <tukaro@NoSPam.gmail.com> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:10AM (#17751900) Homepage Journal
    Here's a thought: How about they handle regular bullying, which happens in the school, before worrying about cyberbullying, which is more out of their hands?

    The thing is, at least in my experience, bullies rarely get punishment for their bullying, even when the abused works up the courage to complain to someone. Some schools may have more things to worry about, like fighting, drugs, and gang-wars, but there are plenty that don't. Most of the teachers in these schools turn a blind eye to the problem right in front of them. I've only ever seen one teacher, aside from the school counselar, tell a student to knock it off. Vulgar slurs, personal attacks, and cruel nicknames may seem like something kids are "supposed" to do to each other, but it has longer reaching effects than most adults will admit to.

    And, when doled out in large quanitities, can lead to Columbine-like events.

    No, I don't have an answer for bullying. I wish I did. When ever a bully is punished for what they do, it's generally a detention, and then they're back dishing out more punishment because you turned them in. Perhaps some sort of humiliation for them, like having to wear a dress for a day, would help them realize what it does, but the parents would complain that their "darling angel" is being unfairly treated, and that would be the end of that.

    So if they don't get punished at school, of course they're going to continue at home, because the parents tend to be oblivious to what they are doing. Even worse is that some of those on the receiving end of bullying at school will turn around at home and do cyberbullying. Often they'll target those who attack them at school, other times they'll go after the popular kids, usually anonymously. This gives them a feeling of control and power, the reverse of what they feel at school.

    So take care of regular bullying first. Then you'll know how to work against cyberbullying, and in the process probably take care of some of it, too.
    • Perhaps some sort of humiliation for them, like having to wear a dress for a day, would help them realize what it does, but the parents would complain that their "darling angel" is being unfairly treated, and that would be the end of that.

      The problem with bullies starts with the parents. If the parents don't give a crap about raising their kid properly, then there's not much anyone else can do.

      However, I like the idea of creating "school prisons" where bullies can be incarcerated for a time (a few hou

      • by RyoShin ( 610051 )
        I agree that a lot of bullying starts with the parents. Sometimes it's the lack of attention from the parents, sometimes it's too much of the wrong kind of attention from parents.

        It's easy to see this in jocks who are also bullies. They have an air of superiority about them, and they're out to make sure everyone knows it. The parents of these kids just continue to lift the kid higher onto their shoulders, and don't dare punish him, so the egotism keeps growing.

        I don't know about "school prisons", though. Th
      • You've never had a real job, have you?

        There are still bullies in the "real world", in workplaces, playing power games, talking behind backs, etc. And they don't get sent to prison. Haven't you ever heard of horrible, demanding, denigrating CEO's and such? They're bullies too. The best defense against a bully is to learn how to deal with them, not to hope they get whisked away.
  • Face it, if the schools can censor students' posts to prevent bullying (and censorship is what we're talking about, let's not mince words) then they can use exactly that same principle to censor students' posts on any other subject, including legitimate criticism of teachers and administrators. And as much as hate bullying and wish schools would do more to fight it, if it comes down to a choice between free speech vs. protecting kids from things that happen off campus on the other, I'll choose free speech
  • Kylie Kenney heard a crescendo of whispers and jeers as she moved through an otherwise unremarkable eighth-grade school day. The reason: Word had spread of a Web site posted by some of her peers, titled "Kill Kylie Incorporated."

    Does anyone else think that when somebody puts up a website called "Kill Kylie Incorporated", it's the person putting up the site who looks like a big fucking idiot?

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )
      Yes, but do those kids think that too?
      We're not talking about rational adults here, but about children for whom the full scope of reason has yet to sink in.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Any credible threat of or actual incident of physical violence are illegal here, so I don't see why they need a separate law or whatever to deal with any of that, just enforce the existing laws. I had to intervene in lots of fights because the admins didn't do anything at school. Isn't hitting someone still assault?
  • Cyber bullying is what the very first person does that results in cyber lynching - and cyber lynching is something we definitely need to get a grip on. And I don't mean just at schools - I mean in general.

    Look at how easy and how often cyber lynchings take place on Digg. A single inflamatory article stating one side of a dispute with no 3rd party corroberating evidence or investigative journalism behind it - and someone's getting 200 death threats a day over the phone or tens of thousands of people local
  • If someone is being harassed, why aren't the police involved?
    • I agree. Doesn't this sort of thing spawn, at the minimum, a civil case when adults are involved? It's really just another excuse to censor minors. It happened when I was in school in the 1970s-1990s and it continues today. At least back then, we only had to worry about our biting political satire being cut out of the school newspaper. Today, kids are being barred from posting anything on the web or participating in peaceful protests (ok, maybe unfurling a "Bongs 4 Jesus" banner isn't much of a protest
    • I agree! My daughter and a friend decided it would be fun using AOL IM to harass someone. The policeman came and talked to me, my wife and the other kids parents. We knew they used IM to talk to their friends. These were a couple of incidents that were done when we weren't around. The officer was really reasonable, he had the entire transcript from AOL. And so we got them together and scared the shit out of both of them. The officer read them their rights etc. and then told them how stupid and cruel there b
    • If someone is being harassed, why aren't the police involved?
      Because children are above the law.
    • If someone is being harassed, why aren't the police involved?
      Because police have more important things to do, like tending speed-traps.
  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:18AM (#17752056) Homepage Journal

    The whole concept of everything that could possibly affect a kid's education being the state's responsibility scares the hell out of me. Yeah, his point about after-hours bullying carrying through to the classroom makes a certain amount of sense, but frankly, I don't care.

    We sometimes might eat food that doesn't conform to the district's nutritional guidelines. Is that the school's concern?

    My kids get to play video games that the district would never allow. Is that the school's concern?

    The rugrats might even play a game of tag in the yard, even though the district doesn't allow it anymore. Is that the school's concern?

    No, no, and no. And neither is it the school's concern whether my kids are the source or target of bullying when they are not in school. Stay out of my living room! I am the parent here, not a well-meaning but fascist bureaucrat.

  • by WED Fan ( 911325 ) <akahige@@@trashmail...net> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:22AM (#17752098) Homepage Journal

    I'm not sure how things are working in other cultures, but in the U.S. part of our problem is bowing to the overly sensitive.

    If we give our kids the tools to handle pressure, and the outlets to deal with it, they will be much healthier adults. Since the 1970's, we've psychoanalized ourselves into a morass or "feelings" and "inner child" excuses. We want to legislate and be protected from things that "offend" us. So, our children grow up, not being able to handle the pressure and they go to the extreme when they snap.

    I'm reminded of the line in an Eagles song, "I'd like to find your inner child and kick its little ass." (Get Over It). The term now-a-days is "Man Up". If you went crying to school administration, or you father, they'd tell you to get tough.

    If you don't teach kids how to deal with it, how to get angry, but control it, how to defend yourself, but don't start it then we will soon have a nation of people who shouldn't be allowed out of their homes.

    I was listening to local talk radio yesterday and the discussion was about a Texas town where the word "nigger" was going to be outlawed. One of the callers couldn't understand why the radio host considered people a little too oversensitive to the word. The caller wanted all hateful words legislated out of usage because it was his right to be protected from them. He told the host that if someone used the word "nigger" on him, he would pull out a gun and shoot him. His inability to deal with the harshness of the world makes him see murder as a proportionate response to a racial slur. He literally said that in order to avoid him shooting someone, government should make a law against the slur so he could take the person to court. (Seattle Dori Monson Show.)

    We need to teach kids to deal with it, react appropriately and proportionately and responsibly, and not expect to be protected from things that offend them.

    • He told the host that if someone used the word "nigger" on him, he would pull out a gun and shoot him.
      Well, at least that guy believes in the 2nd Amendment!
    • First off, I largely agree with you, but I think you neglect that anything, not just physical violence, can be taken too far.

      Case in point, my family moved around a lot and I was in several high schools. In one particular such school, I got targeted by a fairly popular individual that started spreading rumors about me being a "faggot". To this day, I have no idea why. Anyway, with his social network, he pretty much destroyed me socially. If I complained to counselors, I was told to "not let it bother me
  • And not one that most people on /. have had experience with. What I find most interesting about it are two things:
    1. It's easy to turn off a chat window or go to a different webpage, something you can't do in real life.
    2. It's trackable- meaning that if the harrassment becomes bad enough you can easily show authorities what's going on. If someone is threatinging you in a hallway at school, there isn't really any proof you can give the authorities.
  • "If a student is harassed for three hours at night on the Web and they come to school and have to sit in the same classroom with the student that's the bully, there is an effect on education, and in that way, there is a direct link to schools," he argues.'"

    How is this different from when kids /actually went out in the evening/ and got bullied for hours, and then had to sit in the same classroom with the bully?

    Schools are completely failing not only with education, but with controlling students in the classr
  • 'if it doesn't happen at school, can a district take action?'

    No. No, it can't.

    If a student is harassed for three hours at night on the Web and they come to school and have to sit in the same classroom with the student that's the bully, there is an effect on education, and in that way, there is a direct link to schools

    If an auto plant on the other side of town emits heavy metal-containing fumes that impair concentration, there's an effect of education. If Syria invades Jordan, thus making all the Jordanian
  • Sorry. Just had a nasty flashback there. Carry on.
  • by PFI_Optix ( 936301 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:43AM (#17752454) Journal

    Okay, so that wasn't exactly what he told me. But that's how it applies to internet bullies.

    Bullies get their jollies by making you look little. They want to feel superior to you. If you just put every account they create on ignore and don't bother reading whatever crap they post online in an attempt to get a rise out of you, they'll get bored and go elsewhere. The problem is that a lot of kids think they have to argue back any time anyone says something about them. They can't shut up long enough to realize they are giving the bully exactly what he wants.

    Favorite stunt against a bully: I once told a guy I'd let him hit me three times and if he could knock me down with any of those three punches I'd give him $20. Three hits later I was still standing and he was seriously reconsidering the idea of a fight. He was a wuss and I knew it :)
  • by nido ( 102070 ) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .65odin.> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:48AM (#17752532) Homepage
    Bullying is an essential part of the compulsory school experience. However would the government subjugate millions of creative little minds into obedient automatons, without getting the kids' help in doing it to themselves? In the one-roomed schoolhouse, older students keep the younger students in line and model appropriate behavior. Learning is the student's responsibility, and the teacher is there to provide a little guidance. In the age-segregated factory school, learning is the teacher's responsibility. It is impossible for a single teacher to be able to engage 25-30+ different learning styles - perhaps a good teacher could reach 5 of his/her students. The other 20 kids in the class become bored out of their little minds, and a certain percentage of those kids turn to not-so-nice pursuits to entertain themselves.

    I think I mentioned the Columbine shootings a few months back, and someone replied recommending Going Postal - Rage, Murder and Rebellion: From Reagan's Workplaces to Clinton's Columbine and Beyond [amazon.com]. I read this last night:

    Indeed, the intense fear of [a slave] insurrection seems to match the intensity of the collective denial about its cause. This is reminiscent of the countless school shooting plots "uncovered" over the past few years. While the culture continues to blame everything but schools for schoolyard massacres, paranoia increases, zero tolerance policies are applied oftentimes irrationally, and many kids' lives are being [ruined?] due to rumor, fear, or childish boasting of the sort that was once ignored.

    Much like today's mainstream rush to blame Hollywood, the NRA, or other fuzzy outsiders for causing rage massacres that occur in offices and schoolyards, Americans, particularly Southerners right up to the late 1850's, blamed any slave unrest or rebellion on "outside agitators," whether on Northern abolitionist extremists or alien Jacobins. And they sincerely believed it. They couldn't even imagine that domestic conditions, that the very institution of slavery, caused slaves to rebel. It didn't make sense to them and those who suggested such a thing simply 'didn't understand.' To suggest that slavery as an institution and the South's culture caused black insurrection and violence was dangerous lunacy, an abolitionists was shunned and marginalized as today's Earth Liberation Front activists. (pg 46)

    Substitute "children" for "slaves" and "compulsory school" for "slavery", and this paragraph perfectly describes why the bullying problem perpetuates itself: "we're" currently incapable of recognizing how the institution itself creates the problem. Gatto [johntaylorgatto.com] describes the government school as "psychopathic"...

    Later chapters are on the Columbine and other schoolyard shooters, but I haven't gotten there yet.

    (p.s. If you see this, thanks for the book recommendation, Slashdotter, whoever you were... :)
  • If it's outside school, shouldn't it then be the domain of police and/or lawyers? Libel, defamation and assault come to mind.

    Of course, this would require those same parents who sue MySpace for not watching their kids.
  • Cyber-bullying is all that we have to fight back against the real life bullies!
  • by Lord_Slepnir ( 585350 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @12:10PM (#17752874) Journal
    My mom gave me a good solution when I was being bullied on my 45 minute bus ride into Wilmington every day. After a month of trying to talk to the principal, bus driver, and teacher, she just told me "Next time he touches you, just punch him". Never had any trouble from him again. Best part was in the Principal's office.

    "Your son should know that lying will get his suspension extended. he keeps saying that you told him to hit the other child"
    "Yes, that's correct"
    "errrr...hmmm. Never got that one before"

    Of course, these days, I would have been expelled, and my mother brought up on "conspiracy to commit assault" charges, while the jackass on the bus that was bullying would have just picked a new target.

    there should be a teacher there to protect kids on the playground, but past a certain point, kids need to learn to stand up for themselves. When they get into the world, there will always be people that will attempt to bully them, whether it's their boss trying to get them to work unpaid overtime, or any one of a hundred other things in life. If they spent their childhood running to a hug consoler, they'll never know how to handle it in real life.

    • by chill ( 34294 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:18PM (#17754174) Journal
      I'll vote for this one. One of my sons, an identical twin, had this issue when in 5th grade. The bus driver didn't deal with it, the school didn't deal with it. After several attempts to have the "authorities" take action, I simply told him AND HIS TWIN BROTHER, to beat the living daylights out of the bully and not to stop until the bus driver physically stops the bus and comes back there.

      The next day I had a confrontation with the school where I had to threaten to sue them because they were going to expel my kids. Fortunately, I had kept a log of my attempted contacts with the "authorities" about how many times I had tried to have them resolve it.

      My kids were never bothered by bullies in that school again.

      Yes, kids. There are several cases where violence DOES solve the problem.
  • by Acy James Stapp ( 1005 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @12:13PM (#17752938)
    "Deter". It's short, to the point, and has a precise and exactly conveys the intended meaning. "Short-circuit" is long, vague, and even given the benefit of the doubt as to its suitability, has a connotation of impeding a positive action.

    Also, I'm better than you.

  • by 192939495969798999 ( 58312 ) <info&devinmoore,com> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @12:15PM (#17752968) Homepage Journal
    My dad tells me stories of when he was in school, that if you started teasing other kids in class, etc. teachers would bust you in the head with a dictionary. I am pretty sure that would stop just about any bully these days, from the shock value alone. I find it likely that a bully is getting no punishment at home, and I don't advocate physical punishment, but maybe the administration and law enforcement should step up punishment of bullies (hitting is still assault, right?)
  • This is ridiculous. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <pig.hoggerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @12:16PM (#17752974) Journal
    When I was a kid, I was sent to a french school where everything was imported from France, teachers, schoolbooks, comrades and the teaching methods.

    One of those was the teachers encouraging other students to laugh at you whenever you screwed-up.

    Since I screwed-up a lot, I soon developped the ability to not give a rat's ass about what other people think of me, an ability that has served me pretty well in the decades since.

    But of course, in a politically-correct ages, busybodies have to have something to do, too, no?

  • by BenEnglishAtHome ( 449670 ) * on Thursday January 25, 2007 @12:23PM (#17753144)

    ...for bullying to occur?

    If a student is harassed for three hours at night on the Web and they come to school and have to sit in the same classroom with the student that's the bully, there is an effect on education

    This statement illustrates the problem. Bullying must be tolerated for it to occur. The best person who can deny a bully permission to bully is the bully, himself. That's called self-control and if the bully had it, this issue wouldn't come up. So what's next?

    Schools and parents think they can deny a bully permission to be a bully. They can't. They aren't there when the bad guy acts out. They can punish afterward but they can't do a damn thing to stop the bad behavior while it's actually happening. Like training a dog, if the conditioning isn't presented timely, it's useless.

    No, there's only one person who can effectively deny a bully permission to bully: the victim. In real life, legal consequences and PC-nonviolent sensibilities be damned, the only effective way to change the behavior of a bully is for his victim-selection process to fail. When he comes across a "victim" who knocks out his teeth instead of cowering in fear, the bully will stop. (For the moment. He may have to be "conditioned" a few times before he truly learns to think before he acts.)

    What amazes me about the quote above is that a victim would remain online for hours, getting bullied, while shutting down the bully is a simple matter of turning off IMs (or whatever channel the bully is using to reach the victim) and going on about ones business.

    We don't need to protect victims by trying to defend against bullying. We need to teach victims how to short-circuit the whole process. They are the ones with the strongest legitimate interest in seeing the problem solved. They are the *only* ones who are in the right place at the right time to implement solutions. Hit back. Turn off IMs. Whatever, just stop being a victim.

  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @12:44PM (#17753570) Homepage Journal
    Around age 40 or so there's a spike in contacts with people you haven't thought about since high school. I remember one particular email from a guy who in HS was a midlevel asshole in a group of likeminded young men who devoted their redneck lives to making mine suck. Anyway - flash forward a few decades and apparently these people crawl out of the woodwork, maybe it's part of their 12 step program. Who knows. He wants to be all cheery and shit and ask me to call and that happy nonsense. My response started with "I hope you fucking come home and find your whole family chopped up with power tools and stuffed in garbage bags you worthless piece of shit. I hope you drown in your own children's blood, just send me your address and I'll come by to make it happen." And went on for a few pages after that, closing with, "bone cancer isn't bad enough for for you, so go suck your daddy's cock in hell."

    I hope that got the message across - I didn't want him to confuse me with someone who didn't want him burned alive while I laughed hysterically, drinking wine out his wife's severed skull.

    BTW I am 100% ok with making credible, anonymous untraceable death threats against the people who torment my kids. If they want terrorism, bring it on. I'm crazier and meaner than all of them.
  • Simple solution (Score:3, Informative)

    by chill ( 34294 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:42PM (#17754626) Journal
    1. Tune them out
      A. Don't bring your mobile phone/pager/blackberry to school, so you aren't checking IMs at school.
      B. Don't post a MySpace site, or totally ignore other MySpace sites that are critical of you.
      C. Set up blocks in your IM and e-mail so you don't get messages/mail from people who harass you.

    2. Tell them to fuck off
      A. If you have friends who keep telling you stuff like "do you know what so-and-so is saying about you?" and "did you see what they posted about you", you tell them "I don't give a fuck about what so-and-so says or posts, they're nothing but a sad loser."

    3. Realize that once you get out of high school, no one gives a damn about high school. It is so not important. No one wears the letter jacket or the school ring beyond about the summer after they graduate. The opinions of those high school kids are less than worthless. Those people do not matter at all.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972