`Bullies: Fighting Back` - Bullying Goes High Tech | VideoJody Kerzman | 2/8/2011
Chances are, the majority of these students have a cell phone. Those who do have cell phones say they do most of their communicating via text message.
"It`s just easier," said eighth-grader Ivy Bergstrom. "Sometimes you can also say more things that you wouldn`t say face to face."
But while it`s easier, there`s no way to express emotion in a text. So often, words that are texted are taken the wrong way, leading to hurt feelings and making it easier for bullies to get to their victims.
"You can hide behind phones," added eighth-grader Teig Paulson.
There is research to back up that idea. Twenty-one percent of kids say they have received mean or threatening e-mails or text messages. Forty-two percent say they have been bullied while online. 35-percent say they have been threatened online.
They are statistics these eighth-graders say hit close to home.
Three of these four teens have cell phones and use them mostly to text.
All four use Facebook, which they say can be a powerful tool for bullies.
"People all over the world can see what they wrote on your profile and it hurts really bad. It hurts because you don`t think someone is going to say that about you. It`s there in writing," explained eighth-grader Carissa Martin.
And when it`s in writing for everyone to see, the effects of bullying can be especially damaging. That`s why experts say it`s important parents know what their kids are doing: both online and off.
Bismarck Police Department School Resource Officer Jeff Azure said, "Parents have the right and the ability to have the texting monitored, including Facebook and other websites like that."
Because a little time spent monitoring your kids messages could help stop bullying, maybe even before it starts.
While parents play a huge role in stopping bullying, when a child is bullied, it can be just as difficult for the parents as it is for the child.
Tomorrow, we`ll meet a couple who says their 10-year-old daughter has been bullied at school. We`ll see how they`ve taken this experience to help other parents and kids.