Russell County Middle School talks cyber bullying - WRBL

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Russell County Middle School talks cyber bullying

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SEALE, Ala. -

Hundreds of Russell County Middle School students crowded the cafeteria this afternoon to get a lesson on the Internet. Specifically, to learn more about the dangers and consequences of cyber-bullying. Administration said this behavior generally starts around the middle school age.

Faculty at the school said middle school students are normally trying to find themselves, and their social place. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to bullying behavior on social media sites and phone applications, and the consequences can be costly.

"I use kik and snap chat," said Ty'Kerria Grey a 7th grade student.

These social media apps along with instagram, vine, and sites like facebook and twitter are more and more popular among the middle school crowd. But use of these applications also invite new ways to bully others.

"You're bullying somebody through use of the Internet," said Dillon Heath, 7th grade student.

"People make threats and stuff on the Internet saying they hate you and they talk about you and stuff on the Internet," said Ty'Kerria Grey.

Russell County Middle students learned about this issue first hand and specifically the consequences of bullying behavior.

"There's a very large encompassing set of laws that are able to work and bring justice for people who are victimized through cyber-bullying in the state of Alabama," said Greg Price, Chief Technology Officer at Troy University.

And Price said the effects can extend beyond the law.

"If they're constantly bombarded with inappropriate content or comments that are harassing in nature, it can negatively damage their self esteem and can really affect in a negative fashion how well they develop as adults," said Price.

The overall message of Wednesday event: Think twice before posting, texting, or tagging pictures online.

"Before they send out a harmful message, you can't take it back. Once it's sent it's sent and it's out there and people can forgive but they're going to remember," said Lisa Shores, Guidance Counselor at Russell County Middle School.

The students also learned about predator behavior by Troy University Staff. A surprising statistic to many of the students was that 40% of all facebook profiles were not real. Students told News 3 they were going to be more selective with content on social media activities after this presentation.

In some cases, cyber-bullying has been noted as a cause of suicide in young adults.

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