Be There: Protecting students from cyberbullying

Be There: Protecting students from cyber bullying
Published: Nov. 20, 2013 at 11:23 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2013 at 11:33 PM EST
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(WTVM) - Every second, six people in the US start using the internet for the very first time.  It's a worldwide system with more than half a billion users, according to Troy University. The problem is that some of those lurking in cyberspace are predators and bullies.

"On Ask, I was being told not to come back to Russell County, that people didn't like me," said McKayla Chavez, an eighth grade student at Russell County Middle School. 

The ordeal was traumatizing for Chavez. "I told my mom about it. She was pretty much coaching me through it, just ignore it, and don't entertain it," she says.

The bullying, McKayla explained, "finally stopped."

Her classmate Caleb Alexander had a different experience online, but one that's very prevalent for young people.

"Some people will try to message me on Facebook, like grown women will try to get me to contact them," recalled Caleb.

Troy University chief technology and security officer Greg Price has seen it all.  He helps police track down predators in the electronic world.

Wednesday, he told the 7the and 8th grade students at Russell County Middle School why they need to be careful when using social media.

"There are notions on Facebook that you can create a safe environment and protect your information, but that is not true," says Price.

Guidance counselor Lisa Shores at Russell County Middle Schools says when they have situations at the school pertaining to cyber bullying, the issues are addressed with parents, students, and sometimes law enforcement.

"The biggest thing we ask the parents to do is monitor the student's activity on social media," says Shores. "And with their monitoring and what we're doing here at the school, if we can work together, then I feel as parents and educators we have done our jobs."

We also learned some startling news today from Price about social media. He said pictures and all of the information that you put out there is sold to third parties like Google, and even though you delete stuff off your Facebook page, it can still be retrieved, just like text messages.

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