Internet Safety: The Serious Effects of Cyberbullying

Sep 26, 2013

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Kindle 3

Rebecca Sedwick was found dead on September 12, 2013, early in the morning at an abandoned cement plant in Lakeland, Florida. After surveying the scene, local police determined that Rebecca had taken her life by jumping off a high ledge and plummeting to her death below. It’s tragic when anyone takes their life, but what makes this such a heart-wrenching story is that Rebecca took her life at the young age of 12 due to cyberbullying.

Police quickly began to investigate Rebecca’s social media activities, and what they discovered was exceptionally disturbing. Rebecca had received messages from cyberbullies asking her, “Why are you still alive?” and telling her to “Go kill yourself.” The police continued their investigation by searching Rebecca’s recent Google inquiries and found that she had made searches such as “What is overweight for a 13-year-old?” and “How many over-the-counter drugs do you take to die?”

Rebecca's is a heartbreaking story that brings to light the horror of cyberbullying; a problem that an increasing amount of children are facing each day. There are, however, ways to prevent children from being cyberbullied, and www.stopbullying.gov makes these suggestions in recognizing and preventing your child from ever becoming a victim to cyberbullying attacks.

  • Know what websites your kids are visiting and other online activities they’re participating in.
  • Make sure they understand that as a parent you will review their online communications if there’s reason for concern. Installing parental monitoring programs allow parents access to all communications their child makes online
  • Take note of what websites they visit most often, and then go to the websites yourself to see if you feel they are appropriate.
  • Ask for their passwords and tell them their passwords will only be used in case of emergency.
  • Follow and friend your kids on all the social media websites they are active in.
  • Encourage your kids to tell you if they are being bullied in any way. Even if they don’t want you to intervene, let them know that you’re there to listen to them and help them with any harm that cyberbullying causes. 

The key to cyberbullying prevention will always be communication. Keeping up a strong relationship with your child will help you identify if he or she is being bullied or not. Do your best to play an active role in their life because it could one day save their life.

For more information on cyberbullying please visit the following websites.