AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

Opinion

November 26, 2013

Anti-cyberbullying efforts may be having effect

Parents everywhere must be rejoicing, because a new poll suggests that cyberbullying among students seems to be decreasing.

Imagine what a nightmare it is for parents to know their children are being tormented by hateful, or, at least, uncompassionate, peers?

Students have committed suicide under relentless torture perpetrated through Facebook and other social media. Those stories tear at the hearts of parents trying to guide their children through a healthy and happy adolescence.

A poll conducted recently by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV found that instances of what is called “digital abuse” are on the decline.

In addition, a movement is emerging that encourages students to not only avoid hurting feelings across the Internet, but to go to the aid of those whose feelings have already been fractured.

In truth, it’s hard to imagine a well-raised child being a party to such hurtful behavior. “Good kids” simply couldn’t believe acting so maliciously is acceptable, could they? Yet it happens on a large scale. Probably some students participate without realizing the horrible effects they are having on their classmates.

That’s where the schools and the parents come in. And they apparently are, according to the poll.

Results indicate that 49 percent of students have endured some kind of harassment from other students, down from 56 percent in 2011. And 34 percent of harassed children are going to their parents for help, up from 27 percent.

Parents must be proactive on this issue, monitoring what their own children write, as well as what is written about them.

No child should have to endure such emotional agony.

Published Nov. 16, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.

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