She said she thinks if other teens are reaching out more for help, it's as a last resort because so many kids fear making it worse. That was one reason Jennifer Tinsley, 20, said she didn't tell her parents in the eighth grade when another student used Facebook to threaten to stab and beat her.
"I didn't want them to worry about me," Tinsley, now a college student in Fort Wayne, Ind., said of her family. "There was a lot of stress at that time. ... And I just didn't want the extra attention."
According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, every state but Montana has enacted anti-bullying laws, many of which address cyberbullying specifically. Most state laws are focused on allowing school districts to punish offenders. In Florida, for example, the state Legislature this year passed a provision allowing schools to discipline students harassing others off campus.
In Florida's recent cyberbullying case, the police took the unusual step of charging the two teen girls with third-degree felony aggravated stalking. Even if convicted, however, the girls were not expected to spend time in juvenile detention because they didn't have criminal histories.
The AP-NORC Center/MTV poll was conducted online Sept. 27 through Oct. 7 among a random national sample of 1,297 people between the ages of 14 and 24. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. Funding for the study was provided by MTV as part of its campaign to stop digital abuse, "A Thin Line."
The survey was conducted by the GfK Group using KnowledgePanel, a probability-based online panel. Respondents were recruited randomly using traditional telephone and mail sampling methods. People selected who had no Internet access were given it for free.
AP Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta and AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report.
Follow Anne Flaherty on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AnneKFlaherty
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