With another summer over and a new school year just beginning, students are back in the classroom and on the Internet more than ever.
Bullying continues to be a problem across the country, including right here in our school systems, and new technology and social media websites are taking it to a whole new level.
Cyberbullying happens online and through text messages. Cyberbullies can be classmates, online acquaintances and even anonymous users. These days we're seeing bullying less in the classroom and more on the computer because more school systems are ditching books for the digital world.
"The thing about technology is its 24 hours a day access, 7 days a week so students can go on at anytime so often times the victim of bullying has no relief from the ramification of bullying,” said Yolanda Conaway-Wood.
Conaway-Wood is the Executive Director of Student Support Services for Roanoke City Schools.
She said kids are now taking to the Internet to intimidate.
"Students can actually go on the computer, create a fake profile and say just about anything they want and because there's no direct communication with the victim you don't get that sense of remorse you might get face to face,” she said.
Roanoke City Police Detective Ryan Krawczyk specializes in computer crimes. He said cyberbullying knows no boundaries.
"It's come to home because of the internet,” said Krawczyk. “They get it through text messages, email. They get it through people posting stuff on their Facebook."
They even get it from gaming consoles and that's why it makes it that much harder for law enforcement to get to the bottom of it.
"We still have to establish who was behind that device sending it,” he said. “That's where it becomes difficult you have to place the person behind the computer or specific phone."
It's up to students and the parents to know what's going on, both online and offline, to make sure every child stays safe.
"Report, report, report,” said Conaway-Wood. “If you have to report it 5 times, because you've gotten 5 messages report it every single time."
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