EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A lot can happen during the school day after your children leave your sight. Would you know if they were being bullied at school, or if they were bullying others?
Harassment could be happening right in front of you thanks to an increased use of mobile devices such as smartphones.
East Providence police said not a week goes by during the school year without receiving some kind of complaint about cyber-bullying.
Most of the issues are happening between middle and early high school, according to police, but they said they see bullying issues as young as elementary school.
Police said they encourage parents to step in at the first sign that someone is being harassed.
“I suggest trying to confront the child right away, put an end to it, and if it doesn’t work – involve us,” said Lt. Raymond Blinn. “Arrest isn’t the thing that we’re always looking to do. The main effect here is to stop the behavior and make sure it doesn’t continue, so that’s what we’re looking at, but if an arrest is what we’re looking at, then so be it.”
A recent government study found that parents were notified by kids less than 40 percent of the time when some kind of bullying was taking place.
Thursday on Eyewitness News at 6:30 a.m., we’ll tell you what key signs to watch for if you think your child is a victim, or if they might be the bully themselves.