In September, 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick of Winter Haven, FL jumped from the top of an abandoned concrete plant and took her own life after facing ongoing taunting and tormenting from two school mates via Facebook. A disagreement that started over a boyfriend escalated to comments like "You should die" and "why don't you go kill yourself?" directed at Sedwick. Her suicide and the subsequent arrest of her 14- and 12-year-old school mates lead to a heightened awareness of cyberbullying especially during October, National Bullying Prevention Month. Read CNN's "Sheriff: Taunting post leads to arrests in Rebecca Sedwick bullying death" by Steve Almasy, Kim Segal and John Couwels to learn more about this tragic story.
What can be done to prevent cyberbullying? www.stopbullying.gov recommends that parents talk openly with their children about cyberbullying and what they are discussing on social media. They also advise that teens unfriend, block or report people who are posting abusive comments, and that they avoid responding. not keep bullying a secret, and document and save all examples of attacking comments. Other resources can be found at Stopbullying.gov’s Cyberbullying section Facebook's Family Safety Center.
Have your children, or kids you know, experienced cyberbullying? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.