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Letters - Cyber bullying can be traumatic to teens

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As a graduate of Detroit Lakes High School, it has been brought to my attention that there is an issue of cyber bullying in Detroit Lakes, especially via Twitter. In my public discourse class at Gustavus Adolphus College I have been researching the effects cyber bullying, specifically Twitter bullying, has on students and other members of the community.

From my research I learned that students who have been Twitter Bullied may have lower self-confidence than other peers. This can have a negative impact on the student's academic achievement and also lead to depression and anxiety. Untreated depression can unfortunately lead to suicide. Those posting negative remarks on Twitter may feel it is only a joke, not harmful, and no big deal. But for some of those who are the subject of negative remarks, it can definitely be very traumatic and a very big deal.

According to a study done by Hayley Cutts, students that are cyber bullied are more likely to report substance abuse. This can have a negative impact on their physical and emotional health. As parents of these students you can help make sure your child doesn't become victim by knowing some warning signs to watch for:

• Your student may lose interest in something they used to love.

• Your child may become secretive of what they are doing online.

• Your child may begin sudden sliding in their academic performance.

As a parent it is most important to just let your child know that you will be there for them and that they don't need to be afraid to talk to you about anything. For more information you can go to my website http://bseebold.wix.com/cyberbullying1. -- Brianna Seebold, Detroit Lakes

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