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Wednesday 30 November 2022
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One-Third of Central New York Teens Experience Cyberbullying

Kids spend a significant amount of time online nowadays. About 15% of young adults between the ages of 18 to 29 are heavily dependent on online access through their smartphones, and that number is even higher when it comes to younger teenagers. Sadly, one-third of teens across the Central New York area are being bullied online.

In mid-November, the Syracuse Academy of Science held an assembly that focused on cyberbullying. During the presentation, teens who have experienced cyberbullying shared their stories and played emotional videos to stress the importance of this issue.

A mother of a teenage boy who killed himself as a result of online bullying was in attendance and spoke as well. She asked the Central New York kids to pledge that they would stand up to bullying, both online and in real life.

ATandT and the Tyler Clementi Foundation were the presenters at the assembly. Along with the videos and speeches, they showed statistics about cyberbullying, following up a recent survey across Western New York released by the Siena Research Institute.

Siena’s main goal for its research projects is to find out how good mobile technology can be used in harmful ways. Siena researchers surveyed 1,255 teenagers and 1,048 parents for the project.

The survey found that roughly 42% of teens believe they were being bullied online because of their physical appearance, 35% for “social” issues, 34% for potentially being gay, 25% for having a disability, and 19% for being sexually active.

Although wholly 99% of parents say that they’ve talked to their children about behaving online, very few parents enforce any Internet rules and one-third of teens say their parents are “basically clueless” about their online activity.

“What do you say to parents?” said Jane Clementi, mother of the boy who killed himself after online bulling.

“Keep your eye on the children. Keep talking. Don’t shut down communications. Just keep talking and opening up and your children will open up with you too.”

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