On Tuesday, October 28, 2008, Dr. Phil confronts cyberbullying head on.
Bullies love an audience, and there’s no bigger playground than the World Wide Web. Cyber bullies create vulgar MySpace posts to taunt others, or send harassing text messages and threatening e-mails. Dr. Phil tackles this topic head on with his son, Jay, whose new book, Jay McGraw’s Life Strategies for Dealing with Bullies, offers action-oriented plans. Jay recently sat down with a group of teens to get their perspective on cyber bullying -- and they didn’t hold back! Learn what concerns the students the most. Then, is your child capable of intimidating other kids? Jay gives the warning signs of a bullied child and the Dos and Don’ts of reacting to a bully. Plus, meet a teen who fears his future may be ruined after a fake MySpace page was created in his name, and a mother who says her 15-year-old son was bullied to death.
Watch clips from the Dr. Phil show on cyberbullying here!
Andrew’s Story of an Imposter Profile on MySpace
I called my mom to let her know that someone had created a fake MySpace page about me. They stole my picture off my MySpace page and made it look like it was my page. They pretended they were me talking. It was really bad.
Kids are saying things to me about it like they believe it. I didn’t have the address and hadn’t seen it, kids are just talking about it. I was looking for it and I couldn’t find it. My mom and I looked for the page for a couple of days, but couldn’t find it. Finally I got the URL and sent it to my mom. It was really bad, I can’t believe they put this up about me. People are going to believe this and I’m not that way.
One day when I was sitting in class after the page was up and other kids saw it, but not me, when it was quiet a kid asked me “hey, did you do those things?”
I was so embarrassed I just pretended I didn’t hear him and kept calling my mom asking her to do something to get the page down. My head and stomach hurt so bad.
The more I read it the more embarrassed I was, especially because of the things kids in school and out of school were saying, so I just stayed home.
My mom told me to go to the Sherriff’s office and make a police report. My dad and I went. I showed them the MySpace page and they said ‘it doesn’t look like there’s anything we can do about it, no law was broken, deal with it on a personal level’. That confused me and I didn’t know what it meant or what I could do.
My mom contacted SafeWave™ who helped her get the MySpace page down, which was a huge relief. I really appreciate SafeWave™ for getting involved – they and Debbie Johnston were the only ones who tried to help my mom and me.
But I wish it never happened because people have already seen it, and some believe it. It will always be out there for people to see.
I don’t understand how this could be legal – someone stole my identity and no one would do anything! All I want to do is be an upstanding businessman in my community. How can I do that with this out there?
My mom and dad went to meet the Principal and I was embarrassed for him to look at the MySpace page because I don’t want people to think I’m that way. He asked me if I knew who might have done this. I wasn’t sure, but suggested two people. The Principal wrote a note to excuse me from school for the day I skipped. He didn’t do anything else.
My mom knows Debbie Johnston through SafeWave™. Debbie was invited to be on The Dr. Phil Show about Cyber Bullying and asked if my mom and I would go too.
I went on so hopefully Tennessee will learn that this is a serious issue and they have to learn to deal with it. They can’t continue to ignore it – like they did me.
I want to raise awareness so that people know that this isn’t just a joke, it isn’t a prank. It embarrasses and humiliates and follows you for the rest of your life.
Everybody should be like Mr. Steve (CEO of SafeWave™) and care.
There needs to be laws to protect people like me, innocent people. Ya know, if I hadn’t been on MySpace and I’d been on iLAND5™, no one could have stole my picture and created a fake profile. That’s impossible to do on iLAND5™.
Thanks mom and Mr. Steve,