An open forum and training session will be held in Brewer this week to teach parents and educators about cyber bullying. Maine author Kay Stephenson will discuss what cyber-bullying is and how to prevent it from happening to the kids in your life.

The reality of bullying and peer pressure is much different than when many of us were in school. When I was a kid, home was a safe haven, a place where the bullies couldn't get to me. But with the introduction of social media sites, email, and texting, today's kids can never fully get away from it.

I've seen some of this with my own children, who would receive text messages at home, or while we were out to eat. Threatening emails or other kinds of communication can make a child feel like they're not safe anywhere.

And, of course, the scariest part of cyber-bullying is the possible effects...a child who feels victimized may commit suicide...or someone who is duped by a false online profile could fall victim to predators. We see it in the news everyday and it's so very scary.

Kay Stephenson will be at the Brewer High School library this Wednesday night, May 22nd from 5 to 6pm, to talk about the problem and discuss ways to deal with it. The seminar is open to teachers and parents of kids in grades 5 through 12. I found a video on line where Kay talks about Cyber Bullying and her book, Cyberslammed.