Did you know in 2017 over 81 percent of the population had a social media profile, and that percentage is continuing to grow in 2018?
With such great advances in technology comes an increase in the way kids can pick on each other.
It used to be that bullying was just in the schoolyard, on the bus, or walking home after school. In today’s society, kids can use the internet and cell phones to bully each other in a way that’s been termed cyber bullying. This new type of bullying can be just as harmful and even have criminal ramifications.
So, what is Cyber Bullying?
Cyber bullying is when a child or teenager is harassed, threatened, humiliated, or otherwise targeted for abuse using the internet, cell phone, or another digital communication device. This type of bullying should be taken very seriously because it can be hard to spot, damaging and even have legal consequences.
Cyber bullying can be posting mean, lewd, or derogatory statements about a person online, sending embarrassing photos of a person through email or text message, or any other mean-spirited act committed against another child using that type of technology. Because the possibilities of this kind of bullying are endless, cases of cyber bullying can become very serious, even to the point of injury or death.
I want you to truly understand how serious this is.
Cases of suicide and homicide related to cyber bullying as well as physical and emotional damage have been reported. Never assume that cyber bullying will stop on its own, all the attention it can draw is an excellent motivator for cyber bullies to continue.
Cyber bullying is often repetitive and is usually not a one-time occurrence. Information is so easy to share on the internet and through cell phones these days, which makes committing acts of bullying easy. Depending on the severity of the offense, it can even be charged as a crime.
If information or passwords were stolen or threats were made, you have the right to take charges out and that child can be charged as a delinquent under the law.
Do not be afraid to peruse your child’s rights in the case of cyber bullying, sometimes it’s the only way to make it stop and send the message to other children that it is simply not acceptable.
Although schools try to do everything they can to stop and prevent bullying, cyber bullying can be a tricky form to control. Cyber bullying that occurs off school property is usually considered “out of the authority of the school” and little can be done by administrators to stop it. Parents play a crucial role in preventing cyber bullying and closely monitoring children’s online and cell phone activity is the best way to do so.
If you notice that your child is having unexpected problems, don’t just assume they’re going through a regular part of growing up.
If your child becomes hesitant to use the computer, they may be experiencing this type of issue, and you should investigate to make sure they are not harmed.
We can’t control every aspect of our children’s life… however, by monitoring their activity online and having an active role in their day to day activities, we can take one step closer to putting a stop to the epidemic known as, Cyber bullying.