The New York Times has been running a series called Poisoned by the Web in which Jan Hoffman chronicles many of the issues that the internet is creating for our children.
Yesterday's article, As Bullies Go Digital, Parents Play Catchup, chronicled some incidents of on-line bullying and discussed the difficulty that schools and police departments are having dealing with this issue. I encourage everyone to take some time to look at this article and discuss it with their children. As the article points out, "children may be nimble with technology, they lack the maturity to understand its consequences."
As always, it is up to those caring adults in the lives of our students to make clear the ramifications of poor choices. The difficulty in this instance, as the article points out, is that this is new territory for most parents. We do not have prior experience to fall back on in this area to support our students, but we cannot afford to just let our kids go out and learn this for themselves.
The Times also lists the following resources to help parents support their children:
Family Online Safety Institute
Connect Safely - Parents Guide to Facebook
Common Sense Media - Cyberbullying Tips
Stop Cyberbullying: Guide to Reporting Abuses