Cyberbullying can ruin a reputation in seconds - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Cyberbullying can ruin reputations in seconds

"It makes you feel like you're worthless," said cyber bullying victim Katherine Smarkel. "It makes you feel like you're worthless," said cyber bullying victim Katherine Smarkel.

By Tanieya Lewis - bio | email

Updated by Kate Oatis - email

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTOL) - Many know that bullying exists in cyberspace, but a Penta Career Center resource patrol officer says people might be surprisied to know who is being bullied -- and why.

School Resource Officer Rachel Bernhard says cyberbullying often happens among teens -- and often starts with break-ups. The hurt party then lashes out online or via text by forwarding hurtful messages or scandalous pictures.

Those messages spread very quickly, and reputations are often ruined before adults find out what happened.

"If it's on a Facebook site, and you have 160 friends on your Facebook, everybody sees it," Bernhard said.

The effects of cyberbullying, though, don't wear off as quickly -- and, they're very harmful.

"It makes you feel like you're worthless," said Katherine Smarkel, a victim of cyberbullying. "It makes you feel real bad about yourself. I'm just lucky I have a great set of friends outside of the cyber world that really support me."

Copyright 2009 WTOL. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. 

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