According to figures cited by the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services, 19% of regular internet users between the ages of 10 and 17 say they've been involved in online aggression; 15-percent had been aggressors, and 7% had been targets; 3% were both.
Bullying Expert Dr. Susan Limber says, "kids are so wired these days. it's a part of their life., so we're seeing some of the more traditional forms of bullying--kids who would be involved in this type-- spilling over to the use of cyber technologies, but some children who would perhaps not be involved in the fact-to face bullying also engaged in cyber-bullying in part because you can be more hidden."
A federal website on bullying notes that girls were about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying. Of students who'd been cyberbullied at least twice in the last couple of months 62% said it had been done by another student at school; 46% were victimized by a friend, and 55% didn't know who had bullied them.
Dr. Limber says, "if a child is cyberbullied or bullied in any other way, I think the most important thing to know is nobody deserves to be treated like this and they need to seek out help from an adult."
Programs are underway in area schools to combat cyber and other forms of bullying, but experts say parents also need to be involved. They should know websites that kids are visiting, and whenever possible have computers in public places for a variety of safety issues.