Today a teen I mentor was talking about how one of the cheerleaders on her team had quit, because of bullying by another student. The coach had a talk with the whole team, but targeted the offender by saying “You know who you are.” I was glad to hear that the teacher made a firm stand, saying she wouldn’t tolerate any more abusive behavior. But adults don’t always know about all the bullying that goes on. Indeed, the worst of it may be happening in cyberspace.
Cyberbullying has become such a rampant problem, that some parents are learning to navigate the social networking world of teens, and finding out how to address serious offenses against their children. One boy was so depressed, that his mother persisted in asking him about his feelings, finally discovering that someone had stolen his identity, made a Facebook page in his name, and used it to post comments that alienated all his friends and classmates. The story of this mom, and an extensive discussion of cyberbullying can be found in a fascinating and informative article in the December 4 issue of the New York Times, which can be found on their website under the headline: “As Bullies Go Digital, Parents Play Catch-Up.”