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Cyberbullying a growing threat for young children

LA School Report | June 5, 2015

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By David Whiting

A combination of handed-down smartphones, summer break and a new wave of shadowy apps makes the next three months especially dangerous for children, warns a nationally recognized cybercop.

Understand, it’s not just pedophiles and pimps preying on children. It’s children preying on children.

Despite parental controls, says Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Clay Cranford, children as young as 9 years old go to war with one another with tragic consequences they are too young to anticipate.

Cranford, given the 2015 National Bullying Prevention Award from the School Safety Advocacy Council, fires up his tablet and the recent case of Britney unfolds.

Britney, not her real name, was a fifth-grader in a middle-class home in South County. Mom got a new iPhone and gave her 9-year-old daughter the old phone. Secretly, Britney created an Instagram account and agreed to set one up for her best friend. But the girls had a falling out.

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