Get our e-newsletter

Just the facts: teens and cyber-bullying

cyberbully
 

 

Percentage of teenagers with tech access that report being cyberbullied over the past year: 42 percent
Percentage of teens who own their own their own computer or smartphone device: 69 percent
81 percent of youths say bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person.
3 million kids are absent from school each month because they fear bullies.
1 in 5 cyber-bullied teens think about suicide. 1 in 10 attempt it.
Suicide is the No. 3 killer of teens in the U.S.
90 percent of teens who witness online bullying say they ignore it.

(Source: OnlineCollege.org)

Internet Safety & Cyber Bullying Presentation

Internet Safety & Cyber Bullying Parenting in the Digital Age has its challenges. Dr. Patricia Agatston identifies the risks and rewards that youth face online (based on research rather than the media) and will empower parents with the tools they need to “parent in the digital world.” Tuesday, April 17. 7pm. High Meadows Schools Community Center in Roswell, 1055 Willeo Road. Free.

Cyber Bullying: Going Viral

Bullying isn’t limited to verbal taunts or physical actions. In fact, the bigger bullying problem for tweens and teens may be cyber bullying.

Cyber bullying can take many forms, but according to BullyingStatistics.org it generally encompasses the following:

• Sending mean messages or threats to a person’s email account or cell phone.
• Spreading rumors online or through texts.
• Posting hurtful or threatening messages on social networking sites or web pages.
• Stealing a person’s account information to break into their account and send damaging messages.
• Pretending to be someone else online to hurt another person.
• Taking unflattering pictures of a person and spreading them through cell phones or the internet.
• Sexting, or circulating sexually suggestive pictures or messages about a person.

If you think your child isn’t affected by cyber bullying, you’re probably wrong. That’s because more than half of all kids have been bullied online – and the same number report having engaged in cyber bullying, according to the iSAFE foundation. Worse, more than a quarter of kids are repeatedly bullied via their cell phones or the internet. And half don’t tell their parents.

So what can you do?

First of all, talk to your kids about cyber bullying – and be very clear that it not only is wrong, it has serious consequences. Encourage your kids to tell you if they become the victim of cyber bullying.

If your child is being cyber bullied, immediately block the bully from your child’s phone, email and social networking accounts. (This may require obtaining a new phone number or email address.) However, be sure to save all email, text and other messages as proof of the bullying – these should be turned over to your internet/cell phone provider and to the police if the messages are threatening or sexual in nature.

BullyingStatistics.org urges parents to limit computer use to a shared computer in a public space within the house (for instance, the family room); allowing teens to have internet access in their room isn’t a good idea. Parents also should have access to all of their kids’ accounts, but stress that the kids never should share their passwords or other private information with anyone outside of the family. Finally, remind your kids never to tweet, text, email or otherwise share stuff they wouldn’t be comfortable having the rest of the world see!