Local organization hopes to prevent cyber-bullying tragedies in - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Local organization hopes to prevent cyber-bullying tragedies in the Capital Region


ALBANY, N.Y. -  Since cyber-bullying has recently been brought further into the national spotlight, after the suicide of a 12-year-old Florida girl, local organizations are trying to prevent that tragedy from happening to Capital Region children.

Experts say parents are essential in helping to keep kids safe online. Many parents may view social media sites as simply fun ways for kids to connect to others, but there can be a darker side.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a slight increase in suicide among 15-24 year olds can be linked to bullying, especially bullying via social media.

Youth experts say girls are also more susceptible to cyber-bullying, where name-calling can escalate with serious psychological effects over time.

Ashley Jeffrey, the Executive Director of Girls, Inc. says, "You think a lot about the physical fighting, but now you're seeing the cyber bullying. Girls being made fun of, maybe because they don't have the top brand clothes. And then it really gets deeper and it totally chars away at their self-esteem. Bullying has so many different faces."

Jeffrey says parents should periodically monitor their children's social network activity, and keep in close contact with teachers, in case cyber bullying spills over into the classroom.

Cyber bullying is also recognized under New York State's bullying laws.

Nationally, Thursday is "Spirit Day."  The day is dedicated to acceptance and Anti-Bullying. Also, the month of October is National Bullying Month, according to Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center.




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