STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY -- By some accounts, the state of Pennsylvania is listed as one of the top five worst states for bullying in the country. And as technology continues to progress, so too does the method of attack for these bullies.
One quick search of YouTube, and you'll see the devastating effects of cyber bullying.
"It's in your own backyard. It's across the nation. It's across the world," said Bill Latchford an Internet Safety Advocate.
Child after child, coming forward, to share their story.
But unlike in years past, the bullying continues long after the final school bell, and while some may consider it a rite of passage, Latchford says, it's anything but.
"Whenever they were being bullied at school, they could get away from it after school was over. Now that you have cyber bullying, the evolution of bullying, into it, it's now 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they can't get away from it. They're not mentally mature enough for it, and we have children taking their own lives over it," says Latchford.
In fact, suicide prompted by bullying has become such a trend, it now has its own term in pop culture: "Bullycide".
"Every day, you can look in the newspaper or on the web, and find out children who have committed suicide. It scares me tremendously because, I've seen it, I've seen children as young as 10 years old, take their lives over cyber bullying and being bullied. My daughter's 8, and I'm like, 'Where does a child that age, get the impression that a permanent solution, like suicide, is the answer to a temporary problem, of being bullied or cyber bullying?'," said Latchford.
What's pushing kids to the edge? These bullies aren't just posting negative comments or sending private messages. They're taking things one step further.
"They are creating fake accounts about the people. Steal pictures off their Facebook page, you can create an anonymous Facebook page, title it as the person you want to cyberbully and create huge amounts of rumor mill information on that site. People will join in on it," said Latchford.
And he says, even if the account is flagged and deleted, it doesn't take long for these bullies to create another one.
"It's really scary what the kids are faced with these days," he says.
So, what can parents do? Latchford recommends three key things.
The first? Education. Stay informed on the internet and what threats are out there, because he says, things are constantly changing.
Second - Pay attention to your children. He says 160,000 children are trying to skip school every day, to skip the bullying. Look for signs like depression, changes in behavior and withdrawing.
And finally - Communication. Keep talking to your kids. If they say nothing is wrong, trust your gut and keep asking.
"We think that we're invading our child's privacy, but when it comes to protecting our children, whether it's online threats or offline threats, privacy goes out the window," says Latchford.
As for the victims of this trend, ironically, they're taking to the very space that hurts them the most...the web. To speak out against all those who have bullied them, and to speak out for those victims who no longer can.
Latchford also runs a website, www.protectchildrenonline.org, which focuses on this very topic, and helps provide resources for parents.