Nearly half of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17, report experiencing at least one of six cyber bullying behaviors according to a survey by the Pew Research Center the spring of 2022.
The top two behaviors being offensive name calling and being the subject of false rumors.
To combat these rising numbers, Breezeline, a local internet provider partnered up with the National Bullying Prevention Center to provide resources to parents and educators.
“Connectivity brings great benefits, We rarely have our phones away from us, but connectivity has to be safe, especially for our youngest users.”
Walton tells us that there are many factors that contribute to a young person feeling like they can’t speak up about bullying online.
“Unfortunately when cyber bullying occurs, the young person is very often fearful of losing access to technology, They don’t want mom and dad to take away their phone. If they suspect that there’s a problem, they think they might lose access to that The student fears consequences. Consequences either that they would be blamed for what is happening online or that the person who is threatening them might make it even worse if they knew that they had been told on.”
There are however some important steps you can take in order to prepare your child or student to deal with cyber bullying if it occurs.
“Keeping communication open with students, with young people, Letting them know that they should feel comfortable talking about these issues. Set clear boundaries around the use of technology. What sites can your child visit, what apps do they have on their phone and regularly peer in on that to see how they’re using that technology.”