Assault charge at Henrico school may have sparked cyberbully att - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Assault charge at Henrico school may have sparked cyberbully attacks


An assault charge against a Henrico County teacher may have sparked a cyber bullying barrage targeting the alleged victim. Bullying is one of the most discussed topics between many parents and children.

After the story aired on NBC12 about the charge a teacher was facing Tucker High School, supporters took to social media to show their support for him. But we found other posts where people threatened the alleged teen victim. It's another case of cyber bullying. Experts say is a serious issue

The tweets started this week. One said, "That chick pressing charges is about to be the most hated girl at Tucker." Others hinted violence: "You deserved to be punched really hard in the face" and "I'm about to throw a shovel at this girl."

"There's a lack of compassion and empathy for what this person is going through," said Dr. Martin Buxton, chief of psychiatry at Chippenham Hospital's Tucker Pavilion. Dr. Buxton says texting and social media have brought a whole new dimension to bullying. He says many people are still trying to understand how serious these words can be.

"We have cases of adolescents who have literally killed themselves because of the bullying cases," he said. "It's going to be utilized to harm you over and over again."

He says the perspective should no longer be about "toughing it out," parents need to talk to their children.

"Try to understand where they're coming from and that you feel they're pain," he said.

if you're a victim Dr. Buxton recommends:
-stop going on these social media websites
-only communicate with people who care about you
-find a positive mentor
-and find an activity you're good at to build your self-esteem.

Education experts say there is a lot of research into the effects of cyberbullying and the punishments.

"If it actually has come into the school, which it will inevitably, well then you address it there as a disruptive issue and things like suspension and expulsion can apply," said Dr. Bill Bosher.

Henrico Schools released this statement saying, "We can't speak to the origin or authenticity of the comments, especially as proper judgment should be exercised by anyone who chooses to comment on issues without knowing the facts. 

HCPS takes very seriously the right of its students and staff to feel safe and secure in the school environment, and conduct that undermines that right will be dealt with appropriately.  

As we've said before, we cannot comment on a personnel issue."

The case at Tucker High School is still going through the court system.

Some links about cyberbullying:

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