Bullied to Death: Judge Jacobs, Steve

A Bully's New Weapon

Dr. Phil introduces Tom Jacobs, retired family court and juvenile judge and author of Teen Cyberbullying Investigated. "I wanted to talk about the cyberbullying aspect of this, because when we were growing up, this just wasn't an issue, but it's a big issue now," Dr. Phil says.

"It is. It's grown in the last couple of years," Judge Jacobs says. "Bullies now have a new weapon in their arsenal and that is the computer and the cell phone, and we have kids now becoming bullies who wouldn't ordinarily have been the schoolyard bully, because they didn't have the guts to do it face to face, one on one, but they can go home and think, in the comfort and safety of their bedroom, that they can get online and attack their victims, their targets." Judge Jacobs recommends parents get up to speed with their teens and their tech toys, and know their passwords.

Steve Paterson, a school counselor at La Mesa Junior High School in Santa Clarita, California, feels he may have the start to a solution. He calls it the Bully Box.

"We have a bully box that's attached right next to my office, and students come frequently, and they identify bullies. It can be anonymous, they can write their name on their report, but it's just something that we really stress to them," he says. Then he begins an investigation into the reports, which can take a great deal of time.

[AD]"What we have to do is make this part of the curriculum, right?" Dr. Phil asks his guests. "We have to have situations where there's a weekly class where people are educated about this, so they know what it is, what to do about it. We don't just need to teach the teachers and staff, we need to teach the students. This needs to be a part of the curriculum, where we learn again how to treat each other with dignity and respect."