Survey: Half of teens admit to bullying, sexting, stalking on so - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Survey: Half of teens admit to bullying, sexting, stalking on social media

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Do you check your teen's social media accounts? You might want to start when you hear what hundreds admit to doing online.

Parents we talked to call it a wake up call.

In a new survey, hundreds of teens admit to bullying, sexting and even stalking.

Plus, just over a third in this survey said their parents checked up on them online.

The study included more than 1,200 sixth through ninth graders in the Detroit area.

"I've seen some of my friends' kids and I've called them and said: 'Did you know that they posted this,'" said Sarah Declue. "A lot of parents may be great parents but just unaware of all that's out there online. It's growing all the time."

Parents like Declue say moms and dads need to beware, not just as a mom. but as a former teacher.

She said what goes on online may shock them and it goes beyond Facebook, Twitter and texting to YouTube and Instagram.

"When I taught fifth grade, all of the girls and some of the boys had Instagram and some of the boys and it can lead to drama."

She doesn't allow her son to have Facebook yet, and she said results of a new survey proves why.

According to the survey, half of the middle and high school students admit to using everything from cell phones to iPads to bully, spread rumors, send nude pictures and stalk boyfriends and girlfriends.

"Monitoring their Facebook and all the time just constantly, anytime they are online, would be the best way to handle that," said Declue.

In some cases kids can even block their parents from seeing accounts through privacy settings.

"They are still teenagers and they're still trying to figure out how to act and they may not want to hear it from their parents, but it doesn't mean they shouldn't hear it," said Nick Mayberry.

Mayberry works extensively as a part of Youth Ministry at La Croix United Methodist Church with middle and high school students.

"They need that outlet to speak and they want to connect with older mentors because they have a lot going on in their lives," said Mayberry.

Mayberry and other high school counselors found it alarming along with parents that only 37 percent of students surveyed said their moms or dads looked at their phones or online accounts.

"They have all of this power at their finger tips and none of them have maturity to handle that so that's a dangerous combination so the conversation has to happen," said Mayberry.

While the survey was done outside the Heartland, students here told us it applies and is happening in every school.

Teens say they the issues start as soon as someone gets a social account.

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