This image released April 25, 2012, by Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., shows the cover of the digital and print book “The New Bullying: How Social Media, Social Exclusion, Laws and Suicide Have Changed Our Definition of Bullying _ and What to Do About It.” The book was a project of an advanced undergraduate class at the university and is based on interviews with dozens of bullying victims, their parents and experts in the field. (AP Photo/Michigan State University)
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State University students have published a book about bullying in the age of social media, a project of an advanced undergraduate journalism course on the East Lansing campus.
“The New Bullying: How Social Media, Social Exclusion, Laws and Suicide Have Changed Our Definition of Bullying – and What to Do About It,” available in digital and print versions, is the outgrowth of a class taught by instructor Joe Grimm.
The students relied mainly on interviews, Grimm said, using a mixture of in-person, phone and email exchanges.
“Cyberbullying is huge,” Grimm said in a statement. “It means there is no longer a place to escape bullies. They can bully someone who is safe at home.”
Michigan’s recent approval of legislation aimed at fighting bullying in school made this an excellent time to examine the problem. Grimm said.
“With Gov. (Rick) Snyder signing the anti-bullying law last December and giving school districts six months to comply, it seemed this was a subject we could tackle and should tackle in one semester,” Grimm said. “It’s clear that bullying is not a six-month issue or a one-month issue, but one that will be with us for a long time.”
According to university spokesman Tom Oswald, the book “focuses on aspects of bullying that did not even exist until recently.”
“‘The New Bullying’ explores how laws, lawsuits, computers and news coverage have changed bullying forever,” said Oswald. “From band hazing to bullying in the workplace to bullying in schools and cyberspace, it details the changes that continue to plague this age-old issue.”
Dozens of people were interviewed for the project, including Michigan State faculty members with expertise in the field, the head of a bullying treatment program at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, and “students and their parents who have experienced bullying firsthand,” Oswald said.
In a posting on the project’s website, student Allen Martin said class members interviewed students from Dearborn’s McCullough-Unis School who were visiting Michigan State on a journalism project of their own.
Eight-grader Mirvat Chammout said verbal cruelty is the form of bullying she encounters most often.
“I’m saying, ‘Why me? What did I do to them?'” Mirvat said in a video-recorded interview. “I feel sad. I feel alone in the world.”