SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — For students in schools across the country, sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end is the new normal. But it comes with problems made even worse by the pandemic.
“She’s been dealing with cyberbullying every day for the past month,” Ayanna Atkins said.READ MORE: 'A Trend That Won't Go Away': Sacramento City Leaders Consider Permanent Plans For Street Dining
Atkins’s daughter is a sixth-grader in the Twin Rivers Unified School District. She claims the bullying takes place during classroom Zoom calls.
“A student will change their name to hers and then say different slurs like ‘you’re ugly today.’ In particular, they told her to kill herself,” Atkins said.
UC Davis professor of Sociology Robert Faris says bullying is easier during the pandemic.
“Kids are ostensibly in school, but they’re able to bully each other right out in the open in a way they wouldn’t be able to in a traditional classroom. A teacher would be able to intervene and see what’s happening,” Faris said.
We asked Professor Faris if online attacks are more common amid the pandemic.READ MORE: Sacramento Kings Tickets Back On Sale, But COVID-19 Guidelines Will Discourage Booing Or Yelling
“We don’t have the data to say definitively, but I’d say yes. They are spending the entire day, and then after school hours, they’re staying online. It makes it a never-ending thing for some victims,” Fairs said.
Fairs advises parents to encourage their kids to not get caught up in popularilty games.
“It’s the kids who care about popularity. Those are the ones who are stepping on their friends and bullying,” Fairs said.
Ayanna Atkins biggest says her biggest fear is that her daughter will start to believe the bullies.
“I’ll tell her she’s beautiful and she’ll be like, ‘Am I really?’ She’s beautiful. She’s beautiful, she always has been. She’s a light and joy to our lives,” Atkins said.
CBS13 reached out to Twin Rivers Unified school district to ask about Mrs. Atkins’s daughter’s situation. The district tells us they immediately address any claims of bullying.MORE NEWS: Placer County Deputy Investigating Mail Theft Finds Out He Himself Was A Victim
Mrs. Atkins has been in touch with the principal of her child’s school.