Bullying used to occur in one form such as verbal and physical but today with the advent of social media bullying has taken a new form. It has become extremely difficult to police the internet as the etiquette and norms are still fluid. Bullies have taken advantage of this medium by tormenting their victims anonymously and otherwise. This disease needs to be eliminated, but unfortunately I have not found any treatment to this ailment yet. According to callnerds.com, 42% of kids have been bullied online and the average cyber bully starts at the age of nine. This form of bullying is the most severe as any child is susceptible, because in this day and age every child has access to the internet and is on social media. The scariest part of this type of bullying is that sometimes parents don’t even know that it is happening.
I have dealt with cyber bullying myself as I am a follower of the Sikh Faith which requires men to wear a turban and have uncut hair. Due to the rise of Islamophobia and constant use of social media, teens have been accustomed to associating any picture of a turban wearing man to a terrorist. I have encountered several instances of cyber bullying personally. One such instance was when a student in my school commented online regarding a picture of mine in my school’s yearbook saying “what is this raghead doing in this picture.” Instead of getting angry or hurt, I took this negativity and turned it into something positive. I told a couple of my friends about this student’s comment and they got some friends together and started a campaign to show this student he was out of line. In my junior year of high school, I wrote a book on bullying and then published it. My book titled: “Bullying of Sikh American Children: Through the Eyes of a Sikh American High School Student” was published on November 21, 2015 and is available on www.bullyingsikhamericanchildren.org . The reason I pursued this project during the most difficult year of high school, was the fact that I was keenly aware about the insidious bullying of children in schools across America was increasing primarily due to social media and the bullying of Sikh American children particularly was twice the national average. The solutions I have included in my book which I have used to prevent bullying in my own life are applicable to children of any faith/ethnic group not just Sikh American children. Soon after my book was published, on December 11, 2015, NBC News featured an article about my book http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/sikh-american-teen-writes-book-raise-awareness-about-bullying-n478426 . I was also invited to speak at the National Bullying and Child Victimization Conference in Orlando, Florida, February 21-24, 2016. https://www.facebook.com/Schoolsafety911/ . The goal of my book is to eliminate bullying in its entirety whether it is physical, verbal, or cyber. The number one cause of bullying is ignorance; the only way to end ignorance is through education.