BLAINE, Minn. - What used to be something uttered face-to-face on a school playground is now spreading a lot faster anonymously through the Internet.
Cyber bullying isn't new, but with Facebook and Twitter the problem is growing fast.
"It's become nuclear. It's become exponentially more damaging," said Joe Cavanaugh, Founder and CEO of Youth Frontiers, an organization devoted to stopping bullying.
One of the latest examples of cyber bullying is on the social media site, Twitter. We found a handful Twitter pages simply set up to bully kids.
Some were so bad that most of what is written we cannot broadcast. Two of the pages KARE 11 found appear to be written by students from the Anoka-Hennepin School District where the author hides behind the Blaine High School logo.
"Those aren't appropriate comments at all," said Blaine parent Laura Knapp.
We showed those comments to Knapp who wondered who would do something like this. So does the school district, who is asking help from parents and others who might know who is posting the tweets.
Anoka-Hennepin School District spokesperson Mary Olson says she's called the police to see if there's anything they can do to help and sent a message to Twitter in hopes the company will take down the pages. She says if the bullying doesn't spill into school that's about all the district can do.
"We don't have authority. Students do have freedom of speech. We simply cannot be policing this type of thing all of the time," she said.
Anoka-Hennepin isn't the only district dealing with this issue. Late Monday evening we found a similar Twitter page written by an author that uses the Osseo High School logo. And there is a good chance other districts are or will be dealing with the same issue.
"Bullying has been an issue for the ages," said Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh has been working to stop bullying for the past 25 years through his company Youth Frontiers. It is an organization that has gone into hundreds of schools and talked with countless of students in an effort to educate them on how to treat each other better.
"We're seeing the pain and anguish it's causing in young people's lives," he said of cyber bullying.
Ultimately, he says bullying will probably never go away, but how we teach children, especially at home can go a long way.
"What you have to do is change young people's hearts. That's the issue," he said.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)