I was glad to read this article about cyber-bullying and the efforts of the Grand Forks community to combat this growing problem. As a psychiatrist, I am acutely aware of the prevalence of hurtful and hateful comments among the school-aged crowd on social media sites; it would be difficult to not be aware as patients bring this to my attention daily!
And while I am all for attacking (and hopefully eliminating) the problem directly, I also believe that it is useful and important to to address the flip side of the issue. That is, to work with kids who feel pushed around, teased and mistreated by peers and help them find strategies to strengthen their own voice and thereby mount a response on their own behalf. This is never an easy task, but certainly is an important one with long reaching consequences.
As parents and other caring adults, we all walk the fine line between wanting to shelter and protect children and wanting to prepare them to be self-reliant . I remind parents that children generally takes cues from adults; we do best when we help kids identify and develop tools and strategies that are usable across many situations, rather than trying to step in and save them from disappointment and hurt.