PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — About half of young people have experienced some form of cyber bullying, and 10 to 20 percent experience it regularly, according to bullyingstatistics.org.
With schools out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, kids are on their phones and computers more. Lt. Jeremy Halsey with the Princeton Police Department said even with kids doing online classes, parents still need to monitor their activity.
“Generally, for what the kids are doing for the schools, you can still monitor exactly the same way, just keep track of what they are doing,” Halsey said. “Check on them, let them do their work, but just kind of monitor what they are doing.”
April is Child Abuse Awareness month and with kids being home and on their devices more, Halsey reminded parents just because your child is not talking about it, does not mean you should not talk to them about abuse and cyber bullying.
“Just put it to them in a way, only you know your child, you know what your child is ready for, but explain to them there are bad people in this world that take advantage and they don’t care how young you are, the people they just don’t care,” Halsey said. “So have the talk with your child and explain to them why you are doing the things you do.”
If you suspect any type of abuse or cyber bullying, Halsey explained there are signs for which to look.
“Just change in behavior. Sometimes people can act differently when things are going on especially bullying, a child may be more distant,” Halsey said. “And sometimes children just don’t want to talk about it, but it’s all about how you approach it. There are so many websites out there that you can go to for advice.”
Halsey said one of the resources available locally in Mercer County is the book series Gracie’s Guide.