Online Kids and Cyberbullying

I am going to be doing a series of posts with Keeping Kids Safe Today author Joyce Jackson! We will be cross posting a series of articles on this topic for the next few weeks. Check out all of our posts here!

Internet safety is main stream now.  Gone are the days of “Another MySpace Predator!”  and “To Catch
A Predator.”  There is not a lot associated with all-things-online that can shock us anymore.  One of the
leading safety research groups, as early as this past January, has declared the Internet safe.

Not only is the Internet is here to stay it’s now a part of our daily lives whether we TEXT, FLIX, IM or PIX.
However, the issues, problems or dangers – whatever you want to call them, online are still real. We’re
just numb to them.  And, by the way, the “experts” have discounted social networking from their study.

There is one continuing problem online today that is not going away and it’s more marginalized than
ever – cyberbullying.  I was reading the other day that 75% of the teens online say they have received a
nasty email or text message.  Their definition was that it was “something that made them
uncomfortable.”

I don’t know if that stat is true or not.  I do know that when I chat with the high school students I teach,
they all seem to have been the receiver of at least one thing like that.  None of them told anyone about
it.  A couple of them were really upset by it, too. They are more embarrassed at receiving it that they are
emotionally upset at the content.  Only weird kids get cyberbullied.

Cyberbullying doesn’t get its “due” in the media, either.  It is somehow a shameful, almost stigmatized
thing to be a cyberbully victim.  It’s stigmatized by adults and educators, too.  “It’s not my problem,” or
“It’s the school’s problem,” or “It’s off campus,” is often followed by thoughts of, “That whimpy kid
deserved it.”

The solutions are challenging since the problem is disowned by almost everyone involved.  There is no
comprehensive program, approach or effort to solutions to any great degree. The real solutions are
pretty grassroots.

So, we’re going grassroots.  We can take on cyberbullying with you and reduce its impact on kids. The
good news is you don’t have to pull your hair out worrying that every time your kids go online that
they’re going to meet a predator or a cyberbully.  But don’t sit back and think there is no problem, either.

If the attention on the victim has not gone very far, then we’ll get to the cyberbullies to stop it.  They
won’t stop for a number of complicated reasons so we’re going directly to the source: the cyberbully’s
parents.

If cyberbullies are as prevalent as we think, someone has to be their Mom or Dad.  Chances are it’s every
third person reading this post. Chances are you’re the parent of a cyberbully. Chances are even better
you don’t even know it. You don’t have a clue.

We’ll help.  We’re going to be revealing the tips on how to check your cyberbully at the door.  Practical
advice for both kids and parents and we’ll even be asking you what you think.

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