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What to Know About Cyberbullying

September 11th, 2019 Child Safety
mother and daughter at computer

As school resumes, it is not uncommon for kids to experience an uptick in playground bullying. But with the rapid increase in technology and an ever-changing number of apps, platforms, and devices, what happens when bullying makes its way off of the playground and onto digital devices?

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is any bullying that takes place over digital devices such as computers, tablets, and cell phones. It can take the form of posting, sending, or sharing mean, false, or harmful content about another person. It can also include the sharing of personal or private information about someone else, causing them embarrassment or humiliation.

Common places for cyberbullying include:

  • Email
  • Text Messages
  • Instant Messages
  • Social Media

As much as we’d like to protect our children, it can be very difficult to do so against cyberbullying. If you notice that your child’s behavior or attitude has changed, it could be indicative that they are being cyberbullied.

Educate Your Children

It is important to discuss these issues with your children on a regular basis, ensuring that they understand they can come to you if anything upsetting, inappropriate, or dangerous takes place. Make sure that you enforce online safety rules and be sure that they understand never to respond to any cyberbullying. However, they (or you) should preserve the messages. If there are any threats of physical violence, or if the bullying escalates, it is important to involve law enforcement.

Penalties

Cyberbullying is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor if the individual is at least 18 at the time it is committed, or a Class 2 misdemeanor if the individual is under 18 at the time. If an individual pleads guilty or is found guilty of a cyberbullying offense, which was committed prior to age 18, the court may, (without entering a judgement of guilt and with the consent of the defendant), defer further proceedings and place the individual on probation. They will be discharged and their proceedings dismissed once the defendant fulfills the terms and conditions of their probation. After this, the individual may apply to have the complete record of the proceedings expunged.

We Can Help.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another, the experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Daggett Shuler can help. Call us at 336-724-1234 today!

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