Bellush said as school districts have a mix of virtual and in-person learning, families should pay more attention to how their students are spending their time online.
Bellush said cyberbullying has always been an issue, but says it spiked and got worse when COVID-19 hit.
He said a lot of times cyberbullying and contact with online predators builds over time and are kept a secret.
He urges families to be in touch with kids’ emotional settings and says warning signs are signs of isolation, more anger, tearfulness, and mood swings.
Bellush said the longer that a child spends more time on the internet — the more likely it is for them to find themselves in a dangerous situation.
“Certainly there might be some opportunistic individuals out there who are going to be aware of that and utilize that platform for that very thing,” Bellush said. “So always good to have the child’s school time at home supervised by an adult when and if possible.”
Bellush said a lot of times these issues do not get reported and said most kids do go through it and it’s something we should seek help for.
Genesse Mental Health is holding open access clinics Monday Wednesday and Friday mornings. If you feel like your child needs help, click here.