Cyber-Bullying in the Spotlight in Lancaster County

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It’s an age-old problem that has been around since kids started going to school — bullying.

But with the advent of social media, it now reaches far beyond school classrooms and hallways.

That’s why the Solanco School District and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office teamed up for a meeting to talk about cyberbullying with parents at Solanco High School Thursday night.

“It is a little scary, because you have more freedom to say what you want on the internet because you don’t have to face them. So they’re a lot meaner,” said seventh-grader Rachel Ward.

“Quite often, we find a lot of students are engaged in this behavior outside the confines of the school and the drama unfolds when the kids come to the school,” said Craig LeCadre of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

Stories of bullying that ended in tragedy hit home for Kelly Ward, who came to the meeting with her family. She and her husband Michael were among several parents who showed up for the meeting.

“Technology is great, but also there’s a continuous input from children. Before if you weren’t getting along with someone, at least you have a break during the day. But now with technology it can be repeated over and over again,” she said.

One of the big problems with cyberbullying is it happens off school grounds and there’s not much administrators can do to directly address it. Official from the PA Attorney General’s Office say parents have the most power to prevent online bullying.

“This starts at home. Parents really have some opportunity here to help their children with this troubling phenomenon as we progress as their kids get older,” LeCadre said.