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More Kids on Social Media Means More Cases of Cyberbullying

More than 50 percent of kids by ten-years-old are on social media. Here's how Westport parents are keeping their kids safe online.

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Westport, CT | Added on March 08, 2014 At 09:17 AM

50 percent of kids - ten or older- are on social media.  And they know how to use it well.

"I remember when I was growing up I had a beeper," said Serenity Dobson of the Westport Police Department.

Whether it's Facebook, Snapchat or AskFM - kids are logged on and connected. 

"These kids are born into it," said Dobson.  "By fourth grade, these kids have iphones."

And while these tools have their perks, there are consequences. Cyberbullying is at an all time high.

"It's mainly kids in middle school that do this," said Dobson.

Now Westport parents are taking action - holding events they call "Cop Shops".

"Who here has an iphone?" asks Dobson to a group of middle school and elementary school students. 

Cops come out of uniform.  There's pizza and snacks.  But, the main objective is to create a welcoming environment.

"We're not in our uniform. We are less initimidating.  And sometimes when kids see us out on patrol, they stop and talk."

High school student Olivia Weiner helps at the events and she says she's learned a lot.

"I changed all my accounts - like facebook - instagram - and made my stuff private," she said.

Now there is already an age limit in place for many of these sites but pre-teen kids are largely ignorning that rule.

That's what a recent study says by the social advisory website: knowthenet dot com. 

"Some say going through their phone is invading their depends. I also keep my daughter's phone at night so she's not on it all hours of the night," explained Dobson.


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