Concerned Chicago Parents Rank Cyberbullying as one of the Biggest Social Issues

By Jessica Amezcua

Early this year, surveys showed that of the Top 10 social concerns Chicago parents had for their children, cyberbullying came in second, right after gun violence.

In the age of technology, it is easy for people to hide behind the screen and spread negativity whether they are aware that they are doing it or not. Bullying is a form of harassment, an act of violence or any form with the intention to harm, it is usually directed at an individual or a group.

Cyberbullying, however, is a newer form of bullying that involves the person inflicting harm to others through social media sites and applications, direct messages, and text messages.

“Somewhere between 30 to 40% of adult Americans have experienced some form of online harassment, and for middle school and high school students it’s 36% who have reported to experienced cyberbullying” – Taylor

The Ann and Robert Lurie’s Children’s Hospital and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) conducted a survey in 2017-18 asking parents what their top social concerns we’re for their children, 76% percent of the parents reported that cyberbullying was one of those concerns.

Knowing this information exists it begs the question: what is it about cyberbullying that recently has many parents concerned for their children?

Samuel H. Taylor is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) who has studied on the issues of cyberbullying and explored the possibilities and ways of preventing it from happening.

“The psychological effects with being a victim of cyberbullying is quite extensive,” he said, “to the point where places like the Center of Disease Control are starting to refer to cyberbullying as a public health issue because its associated with basically every negative psychological mental health outcome than you can possibly imagine…”

According to an analysis from Google Trends, in the past year Suicide had a higher search volume in comparison to Cyberbullying and Bullying, however this shows that there might be a correlation between each search topics because Bullying and Suicide peaked multiple times around the same time.

He said these feelings of depression, mental health issues associated with anxiety, stress, worsening of family relationships, dwindling academic performances were some of the issues and effects the come along with being bullied.

The survey found that part of the reason parents were concerned with cyberbullying has to do with the fact that they are aware of the chances that the bullying could affect their child’s mental health.

When conducting its survey, the CDPH found that there were many different factors that contribute the cyberbullying. According to the statistics, while both girls and boys are equally likely to have a parent concerned with bullying and cyberbullying, it found that girls were most likely to report incidents of cyberbullying happening.

When the race was taken into consideration it was found that 84% of the concerned parents were Latino/a 78% were Non-Latino/a black parents and 64% were non-Latino white parents.  In terms of socioeconomic status parents of lower-income households whose children were in public schools were found to have more concerns for cyberbullying with 87% compared to the 77% of parents of higher household income with children in private schools.

Another factor that can contribute to cyberbullying includes both the victim of bullying and the person doing the bullying, is the age of the person.

Hannah Kirkpatrick, a middle school social worker in Chicago, works with adolescence dealing with various kinds of personal social issues, cyberbullying being one of them.

From her experience working with middle schoolers specifically, Kirkpatrick said that is it possible that middle schoolers do experience worse instances of cyberbullying only because of all the new hormones and changes going on, they’re learning about the ways to express themselves. While it can be a behavior they carry on into high school, usually, as the person gets older, they can learn to grow out of those negative behaviors and mature.

“Growing up you would have people create facebook groups [to publicly] attack other people… this generation has gotten smarter, now its through direct messages, where it’s private.”- Kirkpatrick

Taylor also says that cyberbullying is still something that can still be done with adults the difference is that when it’s being done under the age of 18 it is usually seen as cyberbullying however after adulthood it is considered online harassment.

Something that should be taken into consideration is whether social media responsible and should they be doing more all around the response has been yes, platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are cracking down at the issue and attempting to relieve the victim of the issue, if something has been commented or sent to message the person is able to flag it, report it and it is then sent in for evaluation, said Taylor.

Storymap of Reports of Cyberbullying:

So what now? What should the next step be to overcome this issue?

Taylor said that flagging it to the administrators of the site and it is reviewed, sometimes its not super effective, because it could take days or even weeks. which flags it to the administrators of the site and then it’s reviewed.

“While this is one of the best options it sometimes might not super effective considering that sometimes it might take might more than a  few days sometimes weeks and then at that point it’s no longer clear for removal.”

Other things commenting, calling out the bully or supporting the other person however once you get involved you have put yourself in a situation/ argument. You could also message the victim privately and provide some social support. If this something that you notice something happening at school, you should be able to go and report it.

With the rate at which cyberbullying is happening there is now a call for cyberbullying to be taught in the classrooms.

Parents whose child they suspect is going through an issue with cyberbullying should easy their way into having a conversation with their child, Kirkpatrick said that when you suspect that it is happening the best way to talk about it is through love, empathy, and being supportive of the child’s feelings, when a parent gets worked up its understandable because no person wants to see their children going through the same thing however it can be overwhelming for the child and thus preventing them from speaking up.

“We need to teach more social emotional awareness in school’s, there’s already been a huge start with CPS …. but there needs to be more.” – Kirkpatrick


For other ways to prevent cyberbullying from affecting others, you can visit

Top 10 Bakeries in Chicago

Credit: Martha Williams for Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits


Hello fall, soon enough the city of Chicago will be welcoming the winter season, and with the warm days winding down, the idea of a nice warm pastry with a hot cup of coffee sounds good right about now. If there’s one thing Chicago is known for and will take pride in it’s our food, everyday in the city you will meet someone who at one point has traveled to the city just to taste the deep dish pizza, a Chicago style dog, and so on. It may not be a deep dish pizza, and while not seem as popular than the city’s countless restaurants and bars, Chicago has an abundance of bakeries. 

 While there are hundreds of bakeries to chose from here’s a look at where you can find the top 10 Bakeries in the city of Chicago.

Climate Change: Does Anybody Care Enough to Make a Change?

Greta Thunberg makes her appearance at the UN Summit after her sixteen long day journey to America

The UN Climate Action Summit held on September 23rd, 2019, comes just a few days after the global climate protest. With a Global Climate Crisis increasingly becoming an issue that needs attention to many global leaders seemed to show no urgency to do something, at the summit. Swedish Climate Activist Greta Thunberg, however, let these global leaders know how she felt about their “business as usual” approach, according to the New York Times. She delivers a passionate speech about the broken promises and ignorance towards the scientific evidence that points out that out time to make a change and help our planet is running out. As important and moving as Greta’s speech was, was it enough to outshine President Trump’s surprise appearance at the summit?

According to an analysis from Google Trends, over the last 7 days worldwide Trump had been a constant search in the media but it wasn’t until the day of the summit that search results for Greta had skyrocketed.

Issues with Iran fall just as global leaders meet to discuss action for a global climate crisis

Iran is once again a heavily talked about subject in the media recently due to their potential involvement with the Saudi oil attack . While they Iran denies any involvement with the drone attacks, the US claims that they are to blame as it is the only plausible explanation for the attacks. At the UN Climate Action Summit, Unites Nations Leaders of France, United Kingdom and Germany seem to be backing the US on this one, according to the USNews and BBC.

According to an analysis on Google Trends over the past 7 days within the United States, talks about Iran seem to outweigh in comparison to talks about climate change. As seen in the first Graph we can see that as of September 17th, Iran had a higher percentage of search results, until the 20th of Sept. where we begin to see a trend for climate change rise, the day millions of people gathered to protest for climate action.

MAP Grants: Gov. Quinn talks at Depaul

By Bob Smith

Gov. Pat Quinn visited DePaul University’s Loop campus on Wednesday to discuss how pension reform is harming the Monetary Award Program (MAP) college scholarships and access to higher education in Illinois.

“This is so important to our state, not only in the past, but certainly now and in the future,” Quinn said.

“We want everyone to have the opportunity to go to college that has the ability to go to college.”

MAP grants are need-based college scholarships that allow merit students who are in need across the state and do not need to be repaid by the student. Quinn said that due to cutbacks and having to pay more money in the pension amount, almost 18,000 students lost their MAP grant scholarships this year.

“We do not want anyone denied that opportunity because of finances,” Quinn said. “We can’t afford to lose all the talent that exists, all the ability that exists for higher education to help our economy and to help all of us, because there are financial challenges that deny someone the opportunity to go to community college or a four-year university — public and private — in our state.”


Quinn was joined by several Illinois college students, including DePaul Student Government Association Vice President Casey Clemmons.

“Every year over 5,000 DePaul students receive MAP grants, and just like the students who have already spoken here today, all of these DePaul students rely on this funding in order to continue their college careers,” Clemmons said.

“Because the number of Illinois students eligible to receive MAP is currently increasing, existing funding does not allow the state to assist all the eligible students. As a result, without action by the Illinois state leadership, more DePaul students than ever will see their MAP funding disappear this year and more

DePaul students than ever will be forced to give up their education due to finances.”

More than 150,000 students nationally receive MAP grants each year.

Clemmons told the audience that on Tuesday, DePaul’s SGA unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Illinois general assembly and the governor to ensure the longevity of the MAP program.  He read the resolution aloud and presented a copy to Quinn. 

Ken Thomas, a University of Illinois Board of Trustees student member, MAP recipient and University of Illinois Chicago student, told how he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the MAP grant.

“My mom, when I was in high school, had to work two jobs just to keep food on the table,” Thomas said, “and if we didn’t have [the] MAP program like we do today, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today; graduating with a degree, hoping to be a productive member of society.” 

Having a productive and functioning society and economy is what Quinn says it’s all about.

“Jobs follow brainpower,” he said. “We want to make sure we have smart people in Illinois. Well skilled, well-educated students coming out of college with graduate degrees and diplomas so they can create jobs, create new businesses,” he said. “Our goal in Illinois is to have at least 60 percent of the adults in our state with a college degree or college associate degree or career certificate by the year 2025. In order to achieve we have to make sure we have a good scholarship program.”

Clemmons said that in order for that to happen, state legislatures need to reflect upon the question, “What must be done?” and do what’s required.


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