"This is important because one thing we are finding out is there is a lot of reciprocal aggression going on back and forth between young people. For example if you give me a nasty Tweet then I will give you a nasty Tweet back," she said. "Sometimes it makes one person look like the bully, but in fact it may be that there is a lot more mutuality going on there than what anybody knows about."
Allen said a child might go to their mother and show her a bunch of nasty Tweets posted by someone else after deleting what they had previously posted.
According to Allen, educators cannot be the only ones held responsible for educating students about acceptable behavior; there needs to be help from parents. The messages that parents can give to help include:
*"You don't have to like everyone, but you need to treat everyone with respect."
* "It is wrong to be mean to someone just because you don't like him or her."
* "Being assertive is standing up for yourself in a respectful way. No one has the right to hurt you, but neither do you have the right to strike back at someone who has hurt you. Objecting to aggression is not the same as striking back to inflict the same amount of or more harm than you experienced."
* "Being respected is better than being popular."
*"Revenge usually backfires."
* "Just because someone is different does not mean he or she is unworthy."
* "Life isn't always fair and you won't always get what you want."
Allen said adults should model anger management, self control, respect and empathy. Children should also be taught that boundaries are critical, she continued.