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Cyberbullying: The Downside of New Media Technology

If Your Child Is Threatened . . .

Your child may or may not confide in you about cyberbullying. But if you suspect that something is going on with your child, you may want to contact your school's guidance counselor and ask that he or she watch for any in-school bullying involving your child. If the situation worsens and your child appears increasingly distressed, consider seeking the support of your pediatrician or clergy, or contact a family counselor. It's important to take the situation seriously.

StopCyberbullying.org urges parents to escalate their actions as the threat and hurt to their child escalates, especially if the child is at risk of physical harm or assault. If your child's personal contact information has been posted online or any threats have been made, immediately contact your local law enforcement agency (not the FBI). Trained cyber-harassment volunteers at WiredSafety.org will work with local law enforcement at no charge, to help them find the cyberbully offline and to evaluate the case. You should also contact your Internet Service Provider and request that all electronic evidence be preserved, to allow the perpetrator to be traced. The police or volunteers at WiredSafety.org can advise you how to do that quickly.

Forewarned is forearmed. You can keep your kids safe online by being vigilant about their electronic activities, and by having frank and open discussions.



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