Fighting Against Cyber-Bullying


Knowing what your kids are doing online is the number one thing police and counselors said parents should do.

Ask.fm, Voxer, Kik and Snapchat are just some of the apps being use for cyber-bullying

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- How can parents help in the fight against cyber-bullying?

Knowing what your kids are doing online is the number one thing police and counselors said parents should do.

There are more and more ways for kids to bully others, such as using apps you may have not even heard of.

Sheriff Grady Judd from Polk County, Florida said, "Watch what your children do online. Pay attention. Quit being their best friend and be their best parent."

A passionate plea from Judd after cyber-bullying claimed the life of a middle school girl from Florida.

"Go kill yourself." "Why aren't you dead?" "You should die."

These are some of the messages that drove 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick to jump to her death.

"Cyber-bullying can be constant, it can be relentless. Bullying has gone beyond what was on the playground years ago." said Sergeant Brian Edwards with the Waynesboro Police. "It's much easier for them to type it into a machine and say an insult than it is to say to another child's face."

This trend is becoming all too common in schools, even right here in the Valley.

Cyber-bullying is no longer only coming from the usual mediums like Facebook and Twitter.

Experts say it's coming more and more from apps that parents may have never heard of, like Ask.fm, Voxer, Kik and Snapchat.

"These guys are little digital natives, they can set up their own email accounts and create a plethora of different accounts to use. So we've got to be really on top of the technology as parents nowadays." said Kelly Brady, counselor at Wilson Middle School.

But Brady has a message for kids, too, "Rise above it. Realize that what someone writes online doesn't define you as a person. Be strong. Be brave. You need to not let those online words break you and hurt you." said Brady .

Brady said that if your kid is being cyber-bullied or if you are a kid being cyber-bullied, don't be afraid to talk about it and reach out to your school's counselor.


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