AMHERST, NY - Up on the fourth floor of Baldy Hall at the University at Buffalo's north campus is The Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse and School Violence. One thing they focus on is cyber bullying.
"I think it's the mechanism by which we can affect that we can do it instantly, we can get it out there so pervasively and often can't take it back," said Dr. Amanda Nickerson, center director.
And with the web open 24-7, with no breaks, no going home to escape some kids could feel trapped.
Nickerson says the key is teach your kids how to used use technology responsibly. That may include putting the cell-phones down and turning the computers off earlier than you're used to.
"Parents-keep it in your room if you have to, so they're not being bombarded by that," said Nickerson.
Nickerson says one in three kids are affected by bulling and their peers see 85-percent of it happen. The online aspect of bullying is just in the beginning stages of understanding, something Nickerson says could take years, even decades to research. For now, it's all about prevention. Watching your kids closely and setting a good example yourself.
"If you're on there blogging or putting less than nice things out there about other people on Facebook, then what are your kids learning," said Nickerson.
Dr. Nickerson says it could years, even decades to fully research, analyze and understand the effects and motivations of bullying and cyber bulling. But the center's focus will really be on prevention measures while they continue to research. They plan to team up with parents, teachers and even students themselves to help end bullying online and in real life.
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