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(Toledo News Now) -
This week special attention is being focused on bullying. The hope is that by encouraging open and honest discussion in our schools and families, we can begin to understand just how prevalent bullying has become.
I saw a statistic that about 80 percent of teenage girls will be on one side or the other of bullying during those sensitive, emotional years. That is a big number, but here is an undocumented truth: Bullying has always existed.
The difference today is that the onset of social media presents perfect anonymity to the bullies. It also exponentially increases the speed and reach of the inflammatory and often humiliating comments since it only takes a click of the mouse to engage dozens or hundreds of fellow teens.
In previous generations, bullies had to accept the risk of personal contact with their target. This was a self-limiting factor. Now, kids can savage others in unbelievably cruel ways from the relative safety of a bedroom or den and on a variety of websites and devices.
Parents must understand that even their little angel may indeed be a cyber bully. Peer pressure to gang up on targets is tremendous. So mom and dad, get your child's passwords for every social media application he or she uses. Make them show you what they say and who they are saying it to. If this makes you uncomfortable imagine how it must feel to the innocent child to whom the comments are directed!