Study: Kids more likely to be cyberbullied by friends - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Study: Kids more likely to be cyberbullied by friends

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

You worry about your child's enemies, but what about their friends?

It seems those closest to your son or daughter may be the very ones you need to watch for cyberbullying.

New research finds kids are going after their own friends online.

School leaders in Malden, Missouri said kids may be afraid to tell their parents about this latest trend.

"A lot of times, it's unseen or unknown unless the student reports it!" counselor Becky Vipperman said.

Vipperman said all social media sites can be used by cyberbullies looking to do damage.

"I first let them know, that they need to report anything or screenshot it," Vipperman said. "If it's on the internet and to make sure that they tell an adult and to not be on inappropriate sites."

But even with that advice, nationwide millions of students are bullied each year.

New research shows if your child is being bullied online, the person on the other side of the screen is more likely a close friend.

Vipperman said it's an issue she's had to deal with already this school year.

"Close Friends they think it's funny," Vipperman said. "At first, they're just joking around, but kids need to know to stand up for themselves to say stop you're starting to hurt my feelings and I don't appreciate what you're doing!"

Malden Superintendent Kenneth Cook said he makes sure students know the importance of cyber-bulling, but it takes parent involvement as well.

"It's always my belief is that if you want students to you have to tell them what the right thing is," Cook said. "If a parent thinks their child needs privacy, well that's not true, what they need is a parent keeping an eye out making sure they don't get in trouble."

Cook wants to remind parents, your child must be 13 years old in order to be on any social media site.

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