BATON ROUGE, La. (NBC LOCAL 33/FOX 44) – Fifty-two percent of young people report being bullied, threatened or put down. In recent years, cyberbullying has become one of the most common forms of the crime and in some cases, cyberbullying has been linked to suicide.
“It’s another tool that bullies use to be able to intentionally hurt their victims and that’s really what it’s about, hurting. Doing something that can be hurtful, it can be physical, it can be verbal, it can be online,” said Monica Taylor, Special Projects Representative with Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, youth who report involvement with bullying behavior are more likely to report high levels of suicide-related behavior.
“The problem is when we were bullied in school we went home, and we could escape our bullies a lot of times. Now with cyberbullying it comes into the home with you and that could be even more dangerous.” said Taylor.
Local schools are taking steps to ensure kids are safe and have outlets to address bullying. This school year, Ascension Parish provided parents with cyberbullying prevention methods. In East Baton Rouge, the school district reminded students that the behavior would not be tolerated.
“I wouldn’t even want to go through bullying. If I saw anyone being bullied I would be like ‘hey please don’t do that, that’s like mean,’ because who knows what they’re going through at home and it’s like that’s why I like to treat people best and do what I have to do to be nice to people,” said Kayley Harris.
Bullying is now considered a crime and the state’s Attorney General’s Office is making it loud and clear, you can be charged and convicted. They’re also urging students to say something if they see something.
“Tell an adult whether that’s a parent or a teacher, a counselor at school, tell and adult. Let them know what’s going on. Also do whatever you can to avoid it. If someone is bullying you on a social media site, don’t go on that site anymore. advised Taylor.