Cyberspace - the new frontier for bullies

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Having already dealt with school-bus bullying, I am dreading the day when Ellie is old enough to be bullied online. As of now, her adventures in cyberspace don't involve communicating with others, but some day that will change. And when it does, there is a chance that at some point she will be the victim of cyberbullying.

Studies disagree with just how often kids are the target of such online harassment. One study found that as many as one in three children have been ridiculed or threatened online. Another found the numbers to be lower, with just one in ten kids being harassed online. Regardless of which study is most accurate, cyberbullying is most definitely a real issue that needs to be addressed.

Some states are addressing the issue by by introducing bills and programs designed to punish and educate. The town in Missouri where a 13-year-old girl committed suicide last year after being harassed online has now made Internet harassment a misdemeanor crime. While I am all for punishment and education, I am also saddened at the reality that there are so many children who would purposely hurt others. I know bullies have been around forever, but it seems to me that children are angrier and meaner than ever before and it breaks my heart.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.