Cyberbullying

What is it?

Cyberbullying is any type of bullying that takes place using electronic devices. It can occur in many forms. It can be threats, rumors, mean messages, and embarrassing pictures that are posted on social media, sent by email, chat, or text.
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The Truth

  • Over half of teens have been bullied online
  • More than 1 in 3 teens have experienced threats online
  • Only 1 in 10 teens tell their parents when they have been a victim of cyber bullying
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 incidents of cyber bullying are reported to police
  • Girls are more likely to be involved in cyber bullying than boys
  • Cell phones are the most common form of cyberbullying because more than 80% of teens use one regularly

It's Real: Megan Meier

Major cases of cyber bullying happen everywhere, but this one was close to home, happening in O'Fallon, Missouri. In October 2006, 3 weeks before her 14th birthday, Megan Meier hung herself in her bedroom. Weeks earlier, an attractive teenage boy, Josh Evans, had friended her on MySpace and gotten to know her. After a few weeks, Josh's messages changed and he said he didn't want to be friends anymore and they soon became more cruel. Very quickly other people joined in and the last message she saw came from Josh saying, "the world would be a better place without you." 20 minutes after the last time her parents saw her, they found she had hung herself.
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What can we do?

  1. Establish home rules about technology
  2. Have conversations about cyberbullying with your kids
  3. "Friend" or "follow" your children on social media
  4. Know your school rules about cyberbullying
  5. Report cyberbullying if you see it or are a victim of it
Cyberbullying PSA Contest winners

Are you being bullied?

  • Tell your parents!
  • Don't respond to or forward the bullying
  • Document the bullying for evidence
  • Block the person
  • Report the bully to social media services, law enforcement, and school

For More Info

Sources

  • stopbullying.gov
  • bullyingstatistics.org
  • meganmeierfoundation.org
  • Google images
  • Youtube