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Bullies have more ways to hurt

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Bullying has been around forever. But with technology, computers, Facebook, twitter, we don't just have bullies, we have cyber bullies; a whole new way for teens, even adults, to be harassed. And it's happening right here in our homes and schools.

It was enough to prompt one South Georgia teen to, at least temporarily, shut down her Facebook page.

High School Senior Logan Scott is constantly connected.  Online, all the time. "It's the way people communicate now," she says.

 Even her Baconton Charter School administrator Lynn Pinson is connected.  She has Facebook on her phone, but not by choice. "I actually opened my Facebook account when we had issues at the school, so I could go on and see what the actual comments were."

Mostly mean comments.  Bullying, or girls making catty comments to each other.  Sometimes, her students simply release information that they should keep to themselves.

 "I think that the 24 hour a day access to information about what you're doing has created a whole new dynamic for kids and their relationships.  There's just some things that everybody doesn't need to know."

Pinson has had to get involved.  Even when parents tell her to butt out. "A lot of times, our parents say, 'well what my kids do outside of the school day is really not your business, Ms. Lynn', but when it comes to school and at 8:10 I'm dealing with crying girls in the office, it does become my business."

 Logan has even gotten caught up in problems online.  She even deactivated her account. "It's all drama.  Like, every time you get on Facebook, it's nothing but drama."

But, as she said before, it's the way people communicate and Facebook kept calling. "I did deactivate it for a week and I actually felt better about myself, but then I felt like I needed to get back on there."

 But now, she's more selective of the friends she keeps and the comments she posts.  To make sure she stays out of any miscommunications.

Here's some advice about keeping your social networks, socially comfortable. Delete friends who make rude comments or make you feel bad about yourself.

Don't post private information you wouldn't want strangers to know and remember, some colleges and employers check Facebook profiles before making selections.

government website launched today, and it will provide information on what bullying is, its risk factors, its warning signs and its effects. It will also provide details on how to get help for those who have been victimized by bullying. 

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