Stopping Cyber Bullying

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) -- The state of Arkansas passed an anti cyber bullying bill in 2007 to prohibit students from using school internet access to bully other students.

"Current legislation has to do with cyber bulling. That's the new wave in the state and in the nation" said former state legislator Don House.

At Walnut Ridge Middle School, counselor Teresa Forehand works with 300 students each day. She says bullying is still a prevalent issue.

"It is a big problem, it's something we deal with on a daily basis" said Forehand.

But cyber bullying is now a concern which can be more dangerous because students are exposed to chat rooms, text messaging and internet videos.

"Besides the bullying I'm also worried about their safety because no matter how many times we tell them it's not safe a 14-year-old can really be talking to a 30-year-old man" said Forehand.

Debra Davis' daughter is an 8th grader at Walnut Ridge Middle School.  She says although she trusts her daughter, she feels the internet is a dangerous place and says she will monitor her daughter's internet use.

"It's too dangerous. I don't trust them, I don't know what's going on and so the only way I can protect her is to keep her off of it," said Davis.

Forehand believes more parental control can help solve the problem.

"They really just have to sit down and talk with their child about bullying and find out what their definition of bullying is and talk about that," explained Forehand.

Walnut Ridge Middle School is taking to prevent cyber bullying, and banning internet access to popular sites such as facebook and myspace.

To help prevent your child from becoming a cyber bully or falling victim, keep your home computer in easily viewable places, such as a family room or kitchen and also talk regularly with your child about on-line activities he or she is involved in.