The most recent bullying case to hit news headlines is characterized by senseless violence and questionable Internet safety. The incident left eight Florida teens in jail and another in the hospital recovering from a concussion, as well as partial hearing and vision loss. The reason these girls ganged up on the victim? They were allegedly seeking revenge for slurs the teen had posted about them on MySpace. In return, the teens had planned to post a video of the beating on the social networking site before it was recovered by police.
The disturbing facts of this case have left millions of parents confused and concerned, asking: "Could this happen to my child?" A sad twist is that online social networking, an activity in which many teens participate, served as the stage for this tragedy. Many parents know their teen's activity online is healthy, but there may be many more who don't know what goes on between the virtual pages of their teens' MySpace profile.
Psychologists and other child development experts are urging parents to take this opportunity to talk with their teens about bullying, Internet safety, and the potential link between the two. While news headlines shout, however, it's important for parents to remain calm and focus on the issue. Knowing how to sensitively, yet openly engage in this dialogue can be difficult, but it remains an important step towards prevention. Below you'll find a list of articles that offer expert information, tips, and advice about bullying, and what can be done to prevent it.
The Scope and Impact of Bullying
The Emotional Toll of Bullying in Schools
Do You Know What Your Kids are Doing on MySpace? It’s Not as Scary as You’ve Heard and You CAN Keep Them Safe