In these current times, many children in Los Angeles are spending more time online than ever before. This situation, however, has not erased a significant problem in many schools and peer groups: bullying. In fact, according to one study, virtual learning and social distancing has led to a rise in cyberbullying.
How big is the cyberbullying problem?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, prior to the current global health crisis, approximately 33% of middle school age children and 30% of high school age children were the victims of cyberbullying. However, according to one study that analyzed millions of websites, chat sites and gaming sites, there was a 40% uptick in toxicity in October 2020 since December 2019. This included a 900% increase in hate speech directed at the Chinese. With more children interacting with one another online, there are more opportunities for cyberbullying to occur.
Children may fear reporting cyberbullying
One of the difficulties of the cyberbullying problem is that many children fear telling adults that they are the victim of bullying and abuse. They fear the bullying will be worse if they report these incidents. Cyberbullying often starts between those who were once friends, but whose relationship has soured. Cyberbullying may start with words, but it can easily escalate.
Cyberbullying should not be taken lightly
When a child is brave enough to report cyberbullying, these incidents should not be taken lightly. Cyberbullying can be humiliating, intimidating and painful for the victims of the bullying. Our firm’s webpage on bullying may be a useful resource for parents who want to learn more about this topic.