Portland teens talk cyber bullying

8:24 AM, Jun 6, 2013   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A group of high school students met Wednesday to talk about a growing problem that teens deal with all the time: Cyber bullying.

They talked about cyber bullying with author Kay Stephens, who wrote a book called 'Cyberslammed' on the topic. For many of the students, it is something they know happens on a regular basis, and some have been targets themselves. But they don't know how to protect themselves or where to turn when they face it.

One girl says for as long as she has been attending school, she has been bullied. But in high school, it became unbearable. She became so distraught she attempted suicide, and was diagnosed with severe depression. When she was released from the hospital, she found out that the bullying had continued on an anonymous blog.

"They were talking about me," she said, "saying stuff like, 'I wish [she] would have died, why didn't she die, why didn't she just kill herself, she's so ugly why did anyone bother with her.'"

Stephens teaches teens to reduce the number of people they interact with over social media, and not to engage with the people who are clearly online strictly to stir up drama. She also tells them, before they post, think twice about the person on the receiving end of that message.

"If I can't see you and you can't see me, and I'm typing something mean, all I have to do is click and send," Stephens said. "I don't have to see your face, I don't have to read your body language, I don't have to know how badly you're affected."


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