Cyberbullying on the Rise in the U.S., With Girls Taking the Brunt of It

July 29, 2019

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The Department of Education says that one in five of all U.S students reported being bullied online in the 2016-17 school year, and that three times as many girls reported being bullied online than boys, the AP reports. The DOE also said that compared to 2014-2015, cyberbullying reports spiked significantly, from 11.5 percent to 15.3 percent. Lauren Paul, founder of the Kind Campaign, said a majority of the stories she hears are of girls bullied by other girls. Both schools and tech companies are ramping up efforts to curb online abuse. Instagram just added a feature that asks posters, “Are you sure you want to post this?” when it's AI detects a potentially abusive comment. School districts are beefing up cyberbullying rules, as well as working to expand social-emotional learning curriculum into high school. These "soft skills" programs, traditionally taught only to younger students, offer high schoolers guidance on how to share and express feelings in hopes the lessons will curtail bullying before it begins.