Cyber Taunted Tween
Dr. Phil addresses Riley, whose face is not shown to protect her identity. "They call you these names because you play on the football team," he observes. "What do you say back to them?"
 
"I just say, ‘You know what? If you can't deal with it, don't say anything at all,'" she replies.
 
"Does it get to you? Does it make you feel bad about who you are?"
 
"No, because I just think I'm the only girl on the football team. It seems kind of cool."
 
[AD]Addressing Riley's mother, Tina, Dr. Phil asks, "Does she tell you about this when it happens, or do you have to pry it out of her?"
 
"At first, it came as a shock. I actually got a posting on my Facebook that said: 'You might want to check Riley's site. There are things on there that I don't think are appropriate,'" Tina shares. "At that point is when I got involved and up to date on things. Now, since then, she's been very open and honest with everything that's going on in school.'"

Seventeen-year-old Isaiah from the teen panel says he can relate to Riley. "I was also a victim of cyber bullying my freshman year in high school, so [I was] just getting started out, trying to have a good beginning to my high school career, and these two girls just took it upon themselves to make postings on MySpace about me and would talk about me using different names," he says. "So they'd be posting names like ‘Lance Bass' and talking about me."

 

Claudia, another teen panelist, says that she was assaulted once in school, an incident that left her bruised. "I didn't tell anyone," she says.

 

"Parry, what's going to have to happen here?" Dr. Phil asks.

 

"I think we need to make [bullying] uncool, and we need to change the mindset. So when somebody says, ‘Hey, log on. Look at this. Pass it on,' we need to say no. Make it very clear that the people who are doing this are the losers," she replies. She also suggests that schools adopt cyber bullying contracts.

 

[AD]Parry outlines three steps kids can take if they're being cyber bullied:

 

Stop. Don't answer back.

Block. Block the person, or block the message.

Tell. Tell a trusted adult.

 

"Telling is not tattling," Dr. Phil adds.

 

Hear Dr. Phil's anti-bullying message over the years.

 

If a friend or loved one is talking about or planning to take his or her life, reach out for help now. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255).