Cyberbullying: Is Your Child Safe Online?

Is your child safe from bullying on the Internet? Online cyberbullying can be as cruel as anything that happens on the playground -- and harder to defeat.

Take Action Against Cyberbullies

If you suspect your child is being cyberbullied, bring it up gently. Tell your child that by talking it over, you can work out a plan to deal with it. You might:

Contact the bully’s parents. Be careful if you decide to do this because it can backfire and make the bullying worse. It’s best if you already know the other child’s parents and get along with them.

Contact your school officials. Make them aware of the problem and ask them to be on the lookout for signs that your child is being bullied at school. The school counselor or principal may have some strategies or even programs in place for handling bullying in school.

Look into filing a complaint against the bully if the behavior persists. Most internet service providers, websites, and cell phone companies have policies against harassment. You may be able to have the bully’s account revoked.

Contact the police if you fear for your child’s safety. Cyberbullying can cross into criminal behavior if it includes threats of violence, extortion, child pornography, obscenity, stalking, extreme harassment, or hate crimes.


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