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The Dangers of Cyber Bullying
Written by Erin MacPherson
Last updated on October 16, 2013 @ 7:05PM
Created on October 16, 2013 @ 5:13PM

Last month, a 12-year-old girl from Florida committed suicide by jumping off a cement factory tower. Officials said that it was because she was terrorized by as many as 15 girls who bullied her online.

Deputies said they had arrested two girls just this week for allegedly bullying and taunting Rebecca Sedwick. This story really shows how much of a problem cyber-bullying can be. Everyone 5 News spoke with said that this starts in the home, and that parents need to monitor what their kids are doing online and on their phones.

"The bullying needs to stop. It needs to stop now," said Butch Postlewait, Marion County Resident.

"With the generation coming up, cyber space is a world to them. I think we as adults, the older you are, we can't comprehend that but for a child that's everything," said Ken Winkie, Safety and Enforcement Officer for Harrison County.

Do these kids even realize what they say can come to this level? In this case, they apparently did not. One girl was arrested Monday when she posted on Facebook that she bullied the victim and didn't care that she had died.

"They're hiding behind their iPod or iPhone and typing. In situations I've had and I asked the child to read what they wrote. They realize at that point how egregious those words are and they can't say it," said Winkie.

"I don't think they realize how far the pain can go and how much damage can be done with the words they say. I think that some children don't realize and those that do don't care," said Julie Gaston, Harrison County Resident.

"After that girls death, there was no control. They were right back on, doing what they were doing before," said Postlewait.

Where can control be gained with these kids?  

"My feeling is that it begins in the home. Parents need to have more control over cell phones, IPads, computers, and what their children are doing on them," said Postlewait.

"It starts with the parents teaching their children to be respectful of others, teaching their children not to make fun of others, and teaching their children that bullying is wrong," said Gaston Resident.

Schools in Harrison County have implemented a program called "We Take a Stand." That program has been awarded through
the state and nationally on how they work with their kids to prevent bullying.

"It's just like anything else. It education. We educate our kids in math, reading, and arithmetic. The same thing needs to be done with behavior such as this. If you can catch it early and keep on it than that behavior stops," said Winkie.

Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. at Robert C. Byrd High School there will be a meeting for all parents to see how you can reduce the bullying in your community. Everyone is welcome.


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Comments (3)
Oct 21, 2013 at 1:41 PM
One problem I see that a lot of parents allow, and that is letting the kids have their computers in their bedrooms. You cannot know what they are doing when you allow this. Parents are supposed to be smarter than the kids, however so many parents today are just that; kids, mentally.
Oct 21, 2013 at 7:22 AM
Actually in this particular case of cyber bullying, the bully’s step mother was found abusing and beating few kids in a video. That video was on Facebook and some people shared it with the sheriff so that the police got to know the real face of step mom who was claiming that her step daughter could have never done that and she regularly checked her Facebook account. As it comes out, the step mother was herself abusive to other kids and so was her step daughter.

Today it is a cruel world out there right from our kid’s friends, mates, harsh school policies and rules (like where a girl was harshly punished for picking up a friend to leave her home as her friend was intoxicated), cyber bullies and sometimes cyber bullies’ parents too are the culprits. It is parents best bet to monitor their kid’s iPad, mobile phones, tablets and iPhone so that dangers of cyber bullying are kept at bay. Use programs like Mobile Spy ( www.retinax.com/mobilespy/ ) to monitor kid's smartphones, iPad and iPhone.
Oct 16, 2013 at 6:04 PM
Well we have a bunch in this administration that's been 'bullying' tea party members for years....when do THEY get arrested??????????
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