Cyberbullying impact on teen suicide

Klamath Falls, Ore. – A smart phone may be the most dangerous tool now used by the playground bully.

Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello says there’s a link between teen suicides and cyber-bullying, and says the situation is serious in Klamath County.

“We’ve had seven suicides, teenagers in this year alone.”  Notes Costello.  “Five of them at least, we’ve been able to establish are linked to cyber-bullying.”

Costello believes cyber-bullying may cause other teens to lash out.   “They’ve also linked this to the school shootings.  The vast majority of those people have been cyber-bullied.”

The D.A. says teen suicides rose by 30% betwen 2010 and 2015.  “The only change that psychologists and sociologists have been able to note, is that cell phone.”

Teens have access to a wide variety of social media apps.

The D.A. says she currently has only limited tools to prosecute cyber-bullies.  “What we do have, though, is harassment of a telephonic nature.”

Costello suggests parents should consider free apps such as ‘Bark’ and ‘Mama Bear’ to track their teens online activity.

“I know it’s going to make them angry at you.”  D.A. Costello points out.  “But you know what?  They’ll thank you later.”


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