Former Duke student-athlete teaches Wake county students how to fight cyberbullying

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A former Duke University student-athlete has started an organization to teach students how to rise above cyberbullying and use social media responsibly. (WTVD)

A former Duke University student-athlete has started an organization to teach students how to rise above cyberbullying and use social media responsibly.

Laura Tierney of The Social Institute thinks social media is kind of like sports - the student body is like the team and putting out a positive image online is like winning the game.

It's why she thinks it's important to have your teammates' back when it comes to cyberbullying, adding that students have to defend their classmates in real life as they would in the game.

"It's not a question of if they're cyberbullied; it's really a question of when they get cyberbullied," she said. "You want to build that trust with them."

She encourages parents to play a role by setting social media standards, asking kids to coach them on what's on their social feed and who's on their pages.

Check out a copy of her family social media standards agreement.

"Some people, they get a lot of hate when their account is public because everybody can see it," Endeavor Charter School 7th grader, Jiin Ta, said, "but if yours is private you can accept or decline the people."

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"I think I'm going to try to like be more private, like I am right now," Endeavor Charter School 7th grader, Austin Kroll, said, "and like only let a few people see what I am, and not post things about other people but just about cool things that I've done."

While Tierney warned students what happens on social media can stick around for a long time, she also stressed that it can also be a positive thing.

"Kids can strengthen their reputation by sharing their strengths and what they're good at," she said.

It's something she did herself as a high school field hockey player to become a top recruit for Duke University.

But above all, Tierney wants parents to recognize their influence.

"Whenever you are looking at your phone and checking work emails before they head off to school, or you're using your phone at red lights, you're modeling behavior that they're going to pick up directly or indirectly," she said.

Check out these tip for more information about how to help your kids on social media.

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