As cyber bullying increasingly becomes an issue for many teens, tech experts want parents to identify warning signs as students head back to class.
As parents get their students ready to head back to school, technology will be a big part of that whether we like it or not.
Between cell phones, tablets, and laptops, students are using devices for scheduling, research, and texting their friends.
While interacting with friends can be fun, researchers with the U.S. Department of Education say about 1 in 5 students report being bullied.
This ranges from rumors or being excluded to threats and physical attacks.
Over a period of two years, cyber bullying increased as well.
So parents, what can you do?
Tech experts say watch for a change in your child’s mood.
Maybe they’re upset or sad after being online or using their phone.
They may start withdrawing from friends or activities they once enjoyed.
Maybe they have trouble sleeping at night or are refusing to go to school.
Tech experts want you to get ahead of it and talk about it.
“Having the conversations with kids that you know what, this happens quite a lot in schools so if it starts to happen to you, there’s nothing to be ashamed of or feel like it’s your fault,” says Linsly Donnelly, SVP and General Manager of Consumer Operations for Securly.
Tech experts like Donnelly say even if your child doesn’t have a phone, they’re living in a world where other kids do.
So equipping them with the right information may help them understand if they’re being bullied, they aren’t alone.
There are apps and software to monitor your child’s activity online.
Michigan also has a cyber-bullying law.
For resources or more information, you can go to stopbullying.gov.