STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- At the Starkville/Oktibbeha Boys & Girls Club, more than a dozen junior high students are learning about cyberbullying.
Most of them heard the term for the first time Tuesday night as part of an informative class from Mississippi State University students.
Cyberbullying is electronic in nature, such as text messages or Facebook comments that insult or belittle someone else.
"I could say something about somebody else miles and miles away," Boys & Girls Club work study student Zachary Person said. "They could be 10 times bigger than me, [but] if I can get them mentally or emotionally, that'll do more damage to them and no physical damage to me. That's the mentality of most cyberbullies nowadays."
Many parents, like Starkville resident Kizzy Self, are also concerned. She has four kids in school dealing with those pressures.
"I think it's not a good influence for the children because sometimes you can even send a wrong text message," Self said. "Someone can take it the wrong way and then somebody ends up at somebody else's house, fighting."
While cyberbullying may not be big in junior high classes yet because --- in this class, maybe 20 percent have a cellphone --- other forms still show up at school.
"I was playing outside and someone started picking on me, because somebody told them I did something I didn't [do]," third grader Jada Lee said.
Youth development specialist Crystal Aaron says many may not even be aware of what they say and need to be taught what bullying is.
"I asked a question one time about Black History Month, and I was asking students in the second room what they thought about it," Aaron said. "They started talking about one of the students in the class, about her skin tone, which was bullying her in front of the class. And they didn't realize that's what they were doing."
Experts caution that as children are exposed to technology at younger ages, the potential for online threats and comments only grows with time.
Students with Mississippi State's Public Relations Student Society of America group organized the Tuesday night lesson.
They say children should tell their parents if they receive anything offensive from others online.