Cyberbullying 

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.

The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are:

  • Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter

  • SMS (Short Message Service) also known as Text Message sent through devices

  • Instant Message (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features)

  • Email

From stopbullying.gov

 
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There are many warning signs that may indicate that someone is affected by bullying—either being bullied or bullying others. Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in taking action against bullying. Not all children who are bullied or are bullying others ask for help.

It is important to talk with children who show signs of being bullied or bullying others. These warning signs can also point to other issues or problems, such as depression or substance abuse. Talking to the child can help identify the root of the problem.


SIGNS A CHILD IS BEING BULLIED

Look for changes in the child. However, be aware that not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs.

Some signs that may point to a bullying problem are:

  • Unexplainable injuries

  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry

  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness

  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.

  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares

  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school

  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations

  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem

  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide

If you know someone in serious distress or danger, don’t ignore the problem. Get help right away.

SIGNS A CHILD IS BULLYING OTHERS

Kids may be bullying others if they:   

  • Get into physical or verbal fights

  • Have friends who bully others

  • Are increasingly aggressive

  • Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently

  • Have unexplained extra money or new belongings

  • Blame others for their problems

  • Don’t accept responsibility for their actions

  • Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity

From stopbullying.gov

 

Why Don't They Speak Up?

Statistics from the 2012 Indicators of School Crime and Safety - PDF show that an adult was notified in less than half (40%) of bullying incidents. Kids don’t tell adults for many reasons:

  • Bullying can make a child feel helpless. Kids may want to handle it on their own to feel in control again. They may fear being seen as weak or a tattletale.
     

  • Kids may fear backlash from the kid who bullied them.
     

  • Bullying can be a humiliating experience. Kids may not want adults to know what is being said about them, whether true or false. They may also fear that adults will judge them or punish them for being weak.
     

  • Kids who are bullied may already feel socially isolated. They may feel like no one cares or could understand.
     

  • Kids may fear being rejected by their peers. Friends can help protect kids from bullying, and kids can fear losing this support.

From stopbullying.gov

 
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Where To Get More Information

Crisis Center of Tampa Bay

The Crisis Center offers a variety of resources to ensure that those who are struggling with any crisis situation can seek proper help including a 211 helpline, a trauma center, telephone reassurance, traveler's aid, suicide prevention services and trans care.

United Way

United Way seeks to improve lives by creating solutions to benefit communities through programs and charity around the world. United Way provides a 2-1-1 crisis hotline, Born Learning, and an end human trafficking initiative.

StopBullying.gov

StopBullying.gov teaches kids how to identify both bullying and cyberbullying while standing up to these issues in a safe and informed way. StopBullying.gov provides training, prevention and response programs while setting policies and rules in schools.