Halfway through the morning, you roll out of bed, moaning at the already exhausting humidity of a July morning and head to the kitchen. You grab a Pop Tart and settle yourself at the computer, ready to IM your friends and post new pictures on your MySpace. A peppy tune plays on your cell phone, and you open the text message, to see only three words: I HATE YOU!
You're the victim of cyberbullying.
One of Smithsburg High School's counselors, Kristen Ganoe, described bullying or harassment as "repeated actions or words or gestures that demean or hurt someone, whether that be physically, mentally, or emotionally." Girls might use gossip as a method of bullying, while boys tend toward violence.
And some teens bully others after school and over the Internet.
Stopcyberbullying.org is a Web site connected with the Wired Safety Group devoted to educating students, parents, and educators about this threat. Cyberbullying is "when a ... teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another ... using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones."