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Online bullying on the rise among middle, high school students

Posted at 10:13 AM, Oct 23, 2019

CLEVELAND — Wednesday, October 23 is Unity Day, a day when students wear orange to stand together against bullying. According to a federal report, online bullying is on the rise among middle and high school students. A doctor at the Cleveland Clinic says when it comes to online bullying, girls are most at risk.

The report looked at data from a national survey of students from the 2016-2017 school year. Twenty percent of students between the ages of 12-18 said they were bullied that year.

“Boys might use their cell phones and the internet more for games, but girls use their phones and their tablets more for communication, and connection, and support,” said Dr. Tatiana Falcone, of the Cleveland Clinic. “So, if someone is being cyber-bullied, and this is their main way of communication, they might feel more isolated, that might impact them more."

Researchers say people are more likely to say hurtful things online or gang-up on other because they can do it anonymously. It can be difficult for parents to get their teens to talk about the problem.

Doctors suggest a pro-active approach.

"It's important as parents to have these talks with your kids, but not only have this talk, but randomly check your kid's phone; look what are their friends; make sure that each one of these people who said that they're friends are real and not people that they don't know."

She also wants parents to know depression looks different in kids than adults.