Cyber bullying affects more teens than you may think - WRBL

Cyber bullying affects more teens than you may think

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBUS, Ga. -

You may notice your teenager absorbed in texting, tweeting and posting pictures on Facebook on a daily basis, but not all of it may involve sending the nicest message to peers. Cyber bullying has become a serious issue.

Statistics show that over half of teens have been bullied online, and about the same amount are doing the bullying. One local psychiatrist says the trend is more dangerous than you might think.

Child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Kaizad Shroff remarks, "20 years ago when there was no Facebook and there was no Twitter, bullying used to be confined to a hallway or a lunchroom, where the bully would go to the victim and say something mean or hit him, and maybe 10 or 20 people around the victim knew that it happened."

But he says in today's society, cyber bullying has a major effect on teens. "One kid can write an update about another kid and 300 people know before the kid has gotten out of his class," says Dr. Shroff.

It can make for a deadly situation in some cases. Roughly 120 10-24 year olds commit suicide in Georgia each year.

Dr. Shroff says at any given time 20% of kids need some sort of mental help.

For one Columbus teen, help was too late. 13-year-old Devin Brown hanged himself in his closet in March after bullies at Rothschild Middle School called him a "snitch" for telling a teacher his classmate had a weapon.

News 3 spoke with Devin's father Ray Brown earlier this year. He never saw it coming. He said, "To me my son died as a hero he did what he was supposed to do but because of bullies he was afraid to go back to school."

Brown says his son didn't have to be afraid to talk to him, but well over half of young people don't tell their parents when they're being bullied.

Dr. Shroff says if your teen isn't communicating, look for signs. "Any major changes are a red flag, and any quick changes," he says. "If the child was doing homework one day, refused to go to school the next, that's a scary proposition."

If you suspect that your child is being bullied, don't ignore it. It's also recommended that parents have passwords to all their teen's accounts to check in periodically.

To keep your child from cyber bullying others, remind them that everything they post is public, and warn them not to send anything they may regret later.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Authorities: Man walks into sheriff's office, confesses to sexual abuse

    Authorities: Man walks into sheriff's office, confesses to sexual abuse

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:58:31 GMT
    Johnny Row BoltJohnny Row Bolt
    A 62-year-old Chambers County man was arrested on two counts of Sexual Abusecharges. Authorities with the Chambers County Sheriff's Office say Johnny Bolt, of Five Points, walked into the sheriff's office this week and confessed to sexually abusing a family member under the age of 12. They say he was arrested Thursday and made bond that same day.
    A 62-year-old Chambers County man was arrested on two counts of Sexual Abusecharges. Authorities with the Chambers County Sheriff's Office say Johnny Bolt, of Five Points, walked into the sheriff's office this week and confessed to sexually abusing a family member under the age of 12. They say he was arrested Thursday and made bond that same day.
  • 25th Infantry Division team wins 2014 Best Ranger Competition

    25th Infantry Division team wins 2014 Best Ranger Competition

    Monday, April 14 2014 11:25 AM EDT2014-04-14 15:25:38 GMT
    Winners: Rose & BergmanWinners: Rose & Bergman
    2nd Lt. Michael Rose and 2nd Lt. John Bergman won the 31st annual Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning. Over the course of the competition, each ranger covered up to 75 miles with little or no sleep.
    2nd Lt. Michael Rose and 2nd Lt. John Bergman won the 31st annual Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning. Over the course of the competition, each ranger covered up to 75 miles with little or no sleep.
  • Escaped inmate tased twice, jumps in lake during capture

    Escaped inmate tased twice, jumps in lake during capture

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:01 PM EDT2014-04-19 18:01:28 GMT
    Grisset shows which way Adams ranGrisset shows which way Adams ran
    Darrin Adams got away from a Muscogee County prison detail last Friday. This came months after he escaped from the Lee County Detention Center in December and another Georgia prison in 1994. Lee County authorities found him late Wednesday night.
    Darrin Adams got away from a Muscogee County prison detail last Friday. This came months after he escaped from the Lee County Detention Center in December and another Georgia prison in 1994. Lee County authorities found him late Wednesday night.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.