State takes aim at cyber bullying - - Jackson, MS

State takes aim at cyber bullying

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"Kids are getting hammered by this. I call it an electronic barrage our kids are under," said Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood.

If you ask Hood, the current generation of young adults has a unique and growing concern.

"No other generation has had to deal with it. We parents don't know how to react to it," said Hood.

It is cyber bullying and Hood is taking his message against it right to the people who know the most about it. As part of a mental health seminar at the Central Mississippi Residential Center  high school students are getting a better understanding of a range of issues affecting mental health.

"Cyber bullying is a whole new world. It takes bullying to a whole new level," said center director Debbie Ferguson.

Ferguson says the program helps students think about issues like cyber bullying, which they see everyday in a new light.

"Even though we think we've seen it all, every year when we do this program we hear something new," said Ferguson.

By partnering with the center, Hood says the state is in a position to better educate and educate early, before online concerns become real life problems.

"Every kid in there will tell you about a friend that they have had been cyber bullied, but it's actually every kid in there," said Hood.

With bullies now jumping from the school yard to the Internet, Hood says impacts to victims can range from lasting affects like depression to more extreme ones like suicide. By talking face to face with students, Hood hopes prevention can fight back.

"We have not even seen the tip of the iceberg of the impacts of this electronic onslaught our kids are under," said Hood.

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