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‘There is no stopping point’ | How parents can fight cyberbullying

Bullying awareness month
Bullying awareness month
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 11:26 AM CDT
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NEWTON, Miss. (WLBT) - Cyberbullying is a silent yet powerful crime and a Newton organization wants parents to have the tools to fight back.

Frankie Johnson is director of Mississippi’s I Got You! Healthy Life Choices for Teens program.

It offers mental health education for students to “help kids cope and get the necessary help to speak up [about bullying].”

With just a click, cyberbullies can taunt, harass and threaten relentlessly, even reaching into the home via cellphone or computer.

“Cyberbullying has no boundaries, no limitation; there is no stopping point,” Frank Johnson said.

As a result, Johnson said some victims feel hopeless, isolated, and even suicidal.

“It escalates to the point of a person getting to where they don’t know how to cope,” he added. “They don’t know how to deal with this. They try to use a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and that is dying by suicide.”

So, what can parents do to protect their kids?

“It’s important for parents to monitor what their young people are doing on social media and openly communicate with them,” he said.

The organization said parents have to help their children understand that there are consequences to their decisions.

For Zury Bourque and her husband Chris, that has meant being aware of what “normal” looks like for their two boys, ages 12 and 10.

“Knowing my children’s moods is very important because I can then detect shifts or changes in their personalities that might signal something is going on,” said Chris.

Beyond talking, listening, and observing their kids, parents shouldn’t be afraid to make and enforce rules for online activities.

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