Minc Law Congratulates Colton Johnson, Winner of 1st Annual Scholarship

Minc Law congratulates Colton Johnson, winner of Minc Law’s first annual Minc Law Scholarship. Colton is attending the University of Houston. Thanks to all the many well-qualified applicants for their scholarship submissions. Minc Law wishes Colton and all of the other applicants the best of success as they embark on their school year!

 

About Colton Johnson

Colton Johnson, winner of the 2018 Minc Law ScholarshipColton Johnson is a freshman at the University of Houston and is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Performance. He wants to follow a career path that celebrates what it means to live a life, and the magic of theatre has given him that thus far. In all he does, he wants to exhume the stories of those who cannot speak for themselves, both in portraying a character on stage and writing stories that need to be told.

He hopes to dabble in both on stage theatre as well as television and film. He also hopes to tell his own story and the stories he has been exposed to through using his passion for writing to write scripts or novels. With this in mind, he has had to deal with the daunting “what if” questions, hinting towards an inevitable defeat in this industry, and while he is ambitious, he is not above considering the idea of someday teaching theatre. Teaching other people how to tell a story and the importance of thoughts and words in this ever growing society.

Above all, he hopes to give his best to those around him; to smile at the world and hope the world smiles back. He hopes to be a light for others in any way he can, as he understands the impact one can have on an individuals life. There are always better things to come, and he is eternally grateful for all the opportunities he has been given thus far.

 

Essay Subject:

What sort of steps and laws should states be implementing to protect society from the ever-growing problems of cyberbullying, revenge porn, and other forms of harassment and online defamation?

 

Winning Essay:

She is graceful, dancing on light feet with confidence. Click. She is beautiful, every girl’s dream image. Click. She is effortless, happy, but her movements are not her own. They are manipulated, forced upon her by a masterful puppeteer, done only to please a stubborn audience–to please the world. Invisible strings are attached to every camera’s click, composing a story on the screen. The strings direct glistening smiles, flawless makeup and countless filters to make a picturesque profile of a perfect person. But once detached from the strings, there is a story less heard. One of smeared makeup and tough breakups, failed tests and bad days; one that demands an audience. So why is this not the story that is projected and accepted? People are judged by how many followers they have and how many likes they get, rather than the measure of their character. It has become it’s own, more acceptable form of social hierarchy. A hierarchy which makes tearing other people down, a much easier and accessible thing to do.

The importance of face-to-face contact in today’s society has slowly deteriorated as people have become more reliant on communication through social media. It is not a secret. Social media is a crucial part of so many lives, laced and intertwined in everyday interactions. People bend to the will of social media–a rag doll, limp and submissive. And in accepting this submissive nature, they are then susceptible to becoming bystanders, or worse, people who join in on mutual hate and bullying. A photo, taken out of context or a nude that is screenshotted and leaked, will spread through a school like a wildfire. I have watched it happen in my own school. In fact, One in three adolescents will experience a cyberthreat online in their lifetime, leaving them to deal with the invisible trauma of the experience.

Cyberbullying is a ravenous and ever so present problem in this society. But how do you stop it when technology is so easily accessible to people in this society? States need to implement laws that provide punishment as well as prevention programs in schools. It cannot be limited to just one or the other, and it must start at a young age now that young people are becoming more fluent in their knowledge of technology.

There are numerous tragedies which support the need for this punishment and prevention. For instance, in 2016, David Molak took his own life after experiencing harassment about his appearance as well as physical threats. David’s parents made his story heard and as a result, David’s Bill was established which punishes people found guilty of cyberbullying with a Class A misdemeanor. This is punishable of up to a year in jail or a 4,000 dollar fine. It is with hopes that it sparks a catalyst of change in cyberculture. Once people understand the consequences that are present, it is with hope that the incidents will decrease. This bill is showing residents of Texas that they are serious about this issue and are regarding it as a criminal offense.

With this in mind, schools also should be taking steps to prevent the issue from even becoming present. This needs to start as a young age by exposing children in the classroom kid-friendly websites such as NetSmartz Kids and Common Sense Media which teach them about good cybercitizen presence and how to avoid situations that could get them in the wrong places online. Schools also should establish firewalls to protect students from inappropriate material and messages by flagging certain words or phrases when connected to school wifi. It can then send alerts to administrators or parents who are set up with the program. Ultimately, education in the classroom is the best possible way to make students aware or the consequences that could follow should they find themselves cyberbullying another student, but without the actual consequences, they are threats with no action being taken.

Every state needs its own David’s Bill to ensure people are held accountable for their actions and beyond that, schools need to teach their kids that they are more than just a marionette controlled by the strings of social media. Schools need to offer a safe place to students experiencing cyberbullying to come to in order to stop it from continuing.

It is with this positive prevention and action that we can rid the web of its negative influence it can have. One can choose to have a negative impact or a positive impact when they post and comment. With these implications, it will urge people to have a positive presence rather than a negative one, breaking the social hierarchy of social media and reducing the pressure and taught wires one is controlled by when they post and will instead use social media as a platform of self-betterment.

 

Minc Law Supports the Fight Against Cyberbullying

You don’t have to suffer in silence. Know that if you are being harassed, stalked, or threatened online, it’s not your fault. You have the right to control your digital space and identity.

If you, your child or loved one have a cyberbully issue or are subject to a cyberbully attack, call us at (216) 373-7706 or contact us today so we can discuss your matter confidentially and help identify the culprits.