Bullies have been around forever, but technology now gives them a whole new platform for their actions. The old “sticks and stones” saying is no longer true — both real-world and online name-calling can have serious emotional consequences for kids and teens.
Cyberbullying is no longer limited to schoolyards or street corners. In present day, bullying can happen at home as well as at school-essentially 24 hours a day. As long as kids have access to a phone, computer, or other electronic device (including tablets), children are at risk. Severe, long-term, or frequent cyberbullying can leave both victims and bullies at greater risk for behavioral problems like anxiety or depression as well as low self-esteem. There are cases where kids have turned to suicide. Many kids and teens who are cyberbullied don’t want to confide in anyone. They do not want to tell a teacher or parent, often because they feel ashamed of the social stigma or fear that their computer privileges will be taken away at home.
Signs of cyberbullying vary, but can include:
What can we do
Be on a school safety committee. Create posters for your school about bullying. Be a role model for younger kids. Write a blog, letter to the editor of your local newspaper, or tweet about bullying and how is it harmful.
I would conclude by saying, “One small step in the right direction to stop bullying can make a big impact to make our community a better place.
Published on 1/1/2019
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