“Taking a phone away from a teen is like removing vocal cords from an adult.” — unknown
Groups like AAUW worked hard to encourage legislation to prevent bullying in schools. So while teachers and administrators dutifully set about weeding it out, it has blossomed outside of school like an invasive weed. Now texting and instant messaging have become the preferred methods of harassing and tormenting victims.
It is incredibly efficient cruelty. Cyber bullies can torment victims at all hours of the night and day. Kids almost always communicate by text today, and they believe text messages are untraceable. The FCC mandates that cell-phone corporations delete texts. Content from three-to-five days prior to request is retrievable but usually only in life-and-death matters and while incurring substantial legal fees.
A child who is being cyber-bullied experiences a spike in the cell-phone bill due to excessive numbers of texts being received. One need not respond to incoming text messages in order to be charged for them!
Paul McMullen, from Cadillac, Michigan, has come up with a brilliant idea! He has developed an Android application to record text messages which are saved online. That way they are available for future viewing as proof which allows the victim to counter cyber bullying through legal channels. It respects the delicate balance between a child’s privacy with the need protect children that find themselves victimized by allowing the teen to decide to share, or not to share, what is happening with parents.
McMullen, a former Olympic sprinter, uses an appropriate sports metaphor to explain how his app works. “Kids texting each other is a game without referees. This app provides instant replay. If one child calls foul, after further review, the referee can make the right call.” He further explains, “Bullying is so much worse now than it used to be. It’s no longer just sticks and stones on the playground,” declares McMullen. “It has to stop.”
McMullen was shaken by a bullied youth’s suicide in his hometown. He prides himself upon being a creative problem solver. “ParentingPride began as a problem to validate a text at work into a way for kids being bullied or harassed to report it accurately.” Guarding against hackers and impersonators is a major objective of the company. Only the purchaser can view the files of texts online. The app is free for the first thirty days; then a $12.99 annual storage fee kicks into play.
Visit <www.parentingpride.com> to learn more.