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How can I help prevent cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is the use of cell phones, the Internet and other electronic devices to embarass or humiliate another individual. While a target of cyberbullying can be of any age, it is most prominent among teens. Many times bullies post slanderous comments or photos on popular social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace or send embarrassing text messages.

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, parents can help stop cyberbullying by talking with their kids. They suggest teaching children following rules:

• Never give out personal information online, whether in instant message profiles, chat rooms, blogs, or personal websites.
• Never tell anyone but your parents your password, even friends.
• If someone sends a mean or threatening message, don’t respond. Save it or print it out and show it to an adult.
• Never open emails from someone you don’t know or from someone you know is a bully.
• Don’t put anything online that you wouldn’t want your classmates to see, even in email.
• Don’t send messages when you’re angry. Before clicking “send,” ask yourself how you would feel if received the message.
• Help kids who are bullied online by not joining in and showing bullying messages to an adult.
• Always be as polite online as you are in person.
It’s important to discuss these ground rules with children and monitor their use of the Internet. Ask your child if they’ve ever been cyberbullied or know someone who has. Reassure them that they won’t lose Internet privileges for sharing their experiences with you.


This Newsletter is printed by Performance Resource Press Inc.

Volume 21, Issue 6