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Mobile phones are school bullying tool

Students here are using mobile phones as a tool in cyber bullying, according to a study released Monday.

Professors from the Cyber University of Korea and Soongsil University conducted a survey of 718 middle school students in Seoul in 2008. Of the 715 that answered, 13.7 percent said they had been victims of bullying through their cell phone.

According to the survey, one out of every seven students have received text messages that contained profanity or abusive language directed at them.

After looking into the motive for mobile bullying, many of the teens answered, “simply for the fun of it.”

The research also found that a large number of victims could possibly become bullies themselves.

“Although the motives behind traditional bullying are anger, control and ostracism, collective bullying through mobile phones is usually done for fun and pleasure,” according to a researcher.

When compared to mobile bullying, fewer students answered that they had been victims of traditional bullying.

“With smartphone use increasing, teen misconduct will come in various forms, and countermeasures must be arranged,” said the researcher.

By Robert Lee (rjmlee@heraldcorp.com)
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