Parents used to send their kids off to school and only worry whether their children had to contend with school yard bullies.
No parent can protectively hold their kid’s hand forever. Cyberbullying adds to parents concerns because they can’t be with children 24/7, looking over their shoulders to ensure that no one does them harm.
The problem is even worse now with so many schools — including some in the Kansas City area — issuing children laptop computers and tablets. For their children’s safety, computers, tablets and smartphones force parents to do more to keep up with all their children’s cyber interactions and take the necessary steps when intervention could save a kid’s life.
The bullying-suicide case in St. Petersburg, Fla., in which two girls ages 12 and 14 have been arrested is just the latest incidence of parents of both the victim and the alleged perpetrators needing to do more to prevent a tragedy.
Fortunately in Kansas City, the City Council this year passed an ordinance outlawing bullying and cyberbullying of a minor. It gives parents the ability to take action and includes a fine of up to $1,000 and costs for parents or guardians if a minor is found to have bullied another.
Other communities need to take that progressive step.