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With the speed and ease of the Internet, her classmate soon recruited 20 others to bully Handy online. As the ordeal dragged on for months, she dreaded going to school, felt physically ill and saw her grades tumble.
No doubt, the Internet can be an extremely useful tool for young people.
Cyberbullying includes sending hateful messages or even death threats to children, spreading lies about them online, making nasty comments on their social networking profiles, or creating a website to bash their looks or reputation.
Cyberbullying differs from schoolyard bullying, Handy says. "When it happens online, there's no one to filter it," she says.
They're going to have the same likes and dislikes," Shehan says.Software filters aren't a perfect solution; some nasty sites can slip through, while educational or family-rated sites may be blocked.So while some parents may wonder whether monitoring means they're spying on their kids, the safety factor often wins out.Mary Ellen Handy had a painful crash course in the dangers of the Internet.The trouble started in her freshman year of high school after a dispute over a boy's affections.