Program helps students deal with bullying on social media

Program helps students deal with bullying on social media
A program helps students dealing with bullying on social media. (Source: KATV)

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT/KATV) - Bullying doesn’t just happen in school hallways but on social media platforms, officials said this week.

Little Rock television station KATV reports that about 6% of students in Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Pulaski County are victims of cyber bullying.

UAMS has developed a school-based program called “STRIVE” that helps students with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and trauma.

Dr. Nihit Kumar, medical director of STRIVE, says cyber bullying involves making threats or spreading rumors using any electronic platform.

But if you become aware that your child is the victim of cyber bullying, Dr. Kumar says to hold off on confiscating your child’s smartphone just yet.

“That’s a common [misconception], actually. If your kid has been bullied and you take their phone away, they will perceive that as a punishment. So they’re much less likely to come up with information like, ‘Hey, I’m being bullied’ ... ‘my phone is going to be taken away’. Instead, what parents need to do is talk to their kids,” Dr. Kumar said.

Dr. Kumar adds that parents can combat cyber bullying by knowing what platforms their child is using and who they are communicating with.

Copyright 2018 KAIT. All rights reserved.