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Bill would require middle schoolers to learn social media

Bullying on social media

Bullying on social media

TRENTON, N.J. — Middle School students in New Jersey could be required to take a course on social media if a bill before the state legislature there passes.

The class would teach students cyber safety, security and ethics, reported the The Star-Ledger.

It would cover Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“Cyber-bullying is becoming a serious problem among children who may not understand the significance of their online actions,” Sen. Teresa Ruiz told the newspaper. “It is never too early to teach our youth that actions in the digital world have far-reaching consequences in real life, and this bill goes a long way towards doing that.”

The bill was approved by lawmakers Monday and sent to Gov. Chris Christie.

Cyber bullying has been an increasing problem among today’s youth.

Last November a Highlands Ranch mother shared the story of her 13-year-old daughter who was harassed online.

Peers told the daughter she should “kill herself,” Naomi Lowell said.

According to Safe2Tell, a program out of the Colorado Attorney’s General office that allows victims of bullying to report the abuse, online bullying has been on the rise in recent months.

In September the program had its highest number of reports ever.

“Our leading category, for the first time, was interventions in suicidal children and this is a really big wake up call for us,” said Director Susan Payne.

The program got 49 reports of suicidal children as young as nine in that one month alone, and many of them had problems with bullying.