Cyberbullying: the #1 discipline issue in one area high school - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

Cyberbullying: the #1 discipline issue in one area high school

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The principal of Hoggard High School calls cyberbullying the top discipline problem at Hoggard.

Now, he's working to fight back.

Principal Eric Pfirman says the impact of bullying is even greater now - with the use of social media. A quick tweet or Facebook post can be seen by hundreds of classmates. Pfirman says it's a growing problem at Hoggard High - especially among teenage girls.

The concern isn't just for those being bullied. He's also concerned about the bullies too.

The teen court in New Hanover County reports there are a growing number of cases of teens getting into trouble with the law over cybercrimes. Some have been charged with crimes like cyberstalking.

Pfirman is concerned an online mistake like this can follow a teen for life. For the victims, Pfirman says the emotional damage can take a big toll.

He talked about his concerns when it comes to the victims. "It is too big for them to handle," he said. "You see it more and more nationwide. You hear about these kids hurting themselves and losing all hope and giving into depression as a direct result of cyberbullying."

With the help from the District Attorney's office, Pfirman is hosting an informational session for parents. It will happen on Thursday at 6:00p.m. at the school. He wants parents to know the dangers of cyber bullying - and what they can do if their teens are being victimized.

He's also going to talk about concerns he has about other unsafe social media practices. Pfirman says more teens are posting inappropriate photos and party pictures on Instagram. He's concerned about their personal information some teens are posting online that could compromise their safety.

He hopes by hearing from the DA, parents and students can be better informed about these issues, in an effort to keep teens out of trouble.

Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved.

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