This is the second article in our series about bullying. Check out Understanding bullying.
In today’s technology-dependent society, bullying has extended beyond the playground to the virtual realm. Cyber bullying is teasing, harassment or otherwise inappropriate behavior that happens over the Internet in the form of e-mails, instant messaging, chat rooms, message boards and other internet resources. “Bullying via electronic sources is so prevalent that I prefer to extend the term to include other forms of electronic communication such as text messaging via cell phones,” explains Dr. Jennifer Caudle, D.O., family medicine resident at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine, and a speaker and consultant who has presented anti-bullying and character education workshops to students, parents and teachers.
If parents suspect their child is a cyber bully, Dr. Caudle recommends they take action immediately. “Many children are not aware that their behaviors can be considered bullying or cyber bullying,” she says. Parents should make sure their child understands that bullying can range from name calling and physical violence to sending inappropriate e-mails and instant messages to peers.
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