Cyber-bullying is 'now the greatest fear U.S. parents have about their children's safety'
By Noel Young
Last updated at 3:56 PM on 22nd October 2010
Cyber-bullying is the biggest fear U.S. parents have for the safety of their children, a survey claims.
Researchers found almost one in three adults with youngsters aged 12 to 17 worry more about bullying - especially via mobile phones - than kidnapping, domestic terrorism, car accidents, or suicide.
There have been a spate of cyber-bullying cases across the U.S. in recent months.
In Massachusetts a 15-yr-old girl recently arrived from Ireland, committed suicide after relentless cyber-bullying at school.
Two out of three parents questioned thought increased use of texting, social media and the playing of more violent video games had resulted in 'meaner behaviour' among their children
Two out of three parents questioned also thought increased use of texting, social media and the playing of more violent video games had resulted in 'meaner behaviour' among their children.
Of parents with children under 12, more than one in four (27 per cent) said they were most afraid of bullying and cyber-bullying, with kidnapping only slightly higher (30 per cent).
In New York, one in three parents (31 per cent) even cited bullying as a greater fear than terrorism (19 per cent) despite the World Trade Centre attacks less than ten years ago.
The survey was commissioned by Care.com, a website that offers babysitting and nanny services.
The survey reported that three-quarters of parents were now monitoring their children's text messages and social media as a result of bullying and cyberbullying fears.
More than one in three of the parents surveyed said they had encouraged their schools to create anti-bullying schemes and have teachers address bullying as well.
Wendy Sachs, editor-in-chief of Care.com, said 'Mean kids and bullies are not new, but social media networks and cell phones are making bullying more anonymous. That is the new danger. Parents are genuinely afraid.'
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