Bullying among teenagers and even younger children isn't what it used to be. Thanks to the Internet and so-called "social networking," harassment that once might involve, at most, a few dozen people now can spread through entire communities.
While little or nothing has changed about the physical aspect of bullying, the emotional damage it can cause now goes much, much deeper than in the past.
Many Ohio Valley schools have programs intended to curb bullying. But, as Wheeling Park High School counselor Jennifer Kucera-Short told our reporter, speed is of the essence in helping victims.
Online bullying of an individual can expand to the point serious emotional damage is done before school teachers and administrators are even aware there's a problem.
Knowing a child is being bullied is critical to the ability of adults to do something about it, Kucera-Short stressed. Often, victims do not ask for help on their own, she added.
That makes it imperative - not just desirable, but vital - that students stand up for peers who are victims of bullying. Telling a teacher, counselor or principal - or even one's own parents - a fellow student is in trouble can prevent untold agony. So, if you are aware of bullying, don't merely shake your head and walk away. Do the right thing, and let an adult know.