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Dr. Phil talks cyber-bullying on the Hill

By Sally Holland, CNN
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Dr. Phil: Let's tame the "Wild, Wild Web"
  • Dr. Phil participates in panel at Capitol Hill
  • He spoke about cyber-bullying among students
  • A recent study shows 73 percent of teenagers used social networking sites

Washington (CNN) -- Dr. Phil McGraw, better known simply as Dr. Phil, brought his fiery brand of advocacy to Capitol Hill Thursday on the topic of student cyber-security, and specifically online bullying.

As part of a panel at a House Healthy Families and Communities Subcommittee hearing, McGraw compared the World Wide Web to the Wild, Wild West of older times.

"The gunslingers are keyboard bullies. They are these people that with anonymity attack other students in a way that can completely destroy their reputations," he said.

McGraw described it as a pervasive problem.

"With MySpace and Facebook, email, chat rooms, there are so many of these things with so much power that they constitute weapons of mass destruction when it comes to communications with these kids," he said.

A recent Pew study found that 73 percent of American teenagers who are online use social networking sites.

McGraw said he has received tens of thousands of letters from kids asking for help with bullying.

The subcommittee was looking at the topic of cyber-bullying as they are considering the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, more commonly known as the No Child Left Behind Act.