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Cyberbullying Taking Place Among Younger Children

July 29, 2013
Plain English Version

There are risks to having a smartphone.

In a recent survey, more than half of fifth grade students had smartphones. And with smartphones, youngsters may become victims of cyberbullying or become a cyberbully. In the survey, 18 percent of those with smartphones reported that they had been cyberbullies.

Researchers asked kids if anyone online had said or done anything that was very mean and that really hurt or bothered them.

The number of children who were bullied went down from the third to the fifth grade. The number of kids who were bullied and also were bullies rose from 15 percent in the third grade to 21 percent in the fifth grade.

As kids develop, more of them know who their tormenters are. And the incidents of repeated bullying goes down.

Reports of bullying are rising. Educators think this may be because programs to report bullying are working. They believe programs to prevent bullying, which include reporting it, are helping.

The percent of kids who know what bullying is, is going up.

A new approach to teaching children how to behave is developing. It is called “social-emotional learning” (SEL). In SEL, kids learn how to detect and manage their own emotions. And they also learn how to make good decisions. Schools are including it in their curriculums.

The program gives kids courage and skills in the online world. Reporting bad behavior and helping those who need help is part of the SEL program.

First thing for parents: talk to your kids about the subject of bullying.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

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