Dangers of Cyber-Bullying

POSTED BY: Brittany Shannon
Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 11:28 AM

While technology can enhance the classroom, it can also provide problems among students in the form of bullying. We found out how schools are handling and working to prevent bullying.

"This is a different age and a lot of the issues we're addressing with bullying are new to us," says Philo High School principal, Troy Dawson.

Bullying has taken on a new form. It can be done without making physical contact with another person. It's known as cyber bullying.

"You can take a picture today and it can be on everybody's Facebook tomorrow," says Dawson.

Pictures that students may not want posted, or comments that may be unflattering or untrue. Those who deal with young people on a regular basis say that cyber bullying is a real problem.

"Kids I talk to are monitoring sites on the Web to see what may have been written about them," says psychologist, Dr. Gary Wolfgang.

With 30% of middle school students being bullied two or more times within the past 30 days, schools have to take action, which is hard to do when cyber-bullying takes place in the comfort of their own home in front of a computer screen.

"It makes it more impersonal for one thing, i can do it from my living room or wherever my computer is located," says Dr. Wolfgang.

Schools are trying to combat cyber bullying by being proactive. They hope that providing parents and students with resources, they can show them the real dangers.

Statistics show that all forms of bullying significantly increase thoughts of suicide.

"We take a real proactive approach to helping to prevent, or if we know about it, dealing with it, the problem is many times students don't share with us that they're being bullied," says Dawson.

That's why school are relying on 'the bystander' to have a part in ending the bullying cycle.

"The best way to prevent bullying is to have the bystander tell," says Dawson.

"If we all get this mentality that this is very harmful and it's simply wrong, maybe we can effectively police it together," says Dr. Wolfgang.

If you feel that your child is being bullied, local schools urge you to contact administrators or law enforcement immediately.

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