How to help your middle schooler stay safe from online bullying:
1) Explain that what may seen like common online behavior can be cyber-bullying. If friends post or share embarrassing photos or videos of others, classmates spread rumors on cell phones, or peers send messages via social media, that's crossing a lie. If done purposely and repeatedly, it's considered cyber-bullying.
2) Point out that what happens on line may have serious, real-life consequences. A humiliating photo gone viral could cause the victim to stay away from friends or hurt herself. And the bully can get into trouble at home, at school, or even with the law.
3) If your teen receives a bullying email, text, or social media message, tell her not to respond. That may make the situation worse. Instead, have her save or print it to keep a record. Then, she should block the sender and tell you about it so you can decide what to do, such as notifying your Internet service provider or the school.