Anti-bullying expert speaks on Sedwick case - WFLA News Channel 8

Anti-bullying expert speaks on Sedwick case

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Rebecca Ann Sedwick Rebecca Ann Sedwick

Gabriella van Rij, a nationally known bullying prevention expert and author of 'With All My Might' is Tampa Bay area this week speaking about the tragic death of Rebecca Ann Sedwick.

The 12-year-old took her own life last week after enduring two years of relentless cyber bullying. Van Rij says bullying has become a nationwide epidemic.

"We're talking about 85 percent children being bullied, in the United States. Why? Why? Well I think first of all we have lost a part of our values," van Rij said. "And, what I mean by that is we are so busy as parents, and I'm a parent myself, so I really understand that, with two jobs trying to juggle everything to provide for our children and get what they need, that we're not always there anymore 24/7. "

She says some parents may not be paying attention to their children, or may be reluctant to acknowledge their son or daughter is the bully.

"It can be your child. The bully. And that's okay. It's still a child. All we need to do is be aware of it. And then adjust and talk to the child," she said. "Communication is really important. "

Van Rij advises to monitor a child's activity on his or her smartphone, and limit the time they are on those devices. You should also watch for any change in behavior and above all, she says, talk freely with them.

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