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Schools Give Students Tools to Fight Back Against Bullies

photograph from Family story

(10/06/2005)

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Bullies are a big problem in schools. Every week, many children are afraid to go to school. They are afraid they will be picked on by a bully. One study found that 52% of children reported being bullied at least once a week. Sixty percent say that they know someone who could harm them. One student was always being teased because he was short. He didn’t like to go to school because he had to face the bullies.

Some children choose not to go to school at all so they can avoid the bullies. When they miss school, students fall behind their classmates. A new program is helping put an end to this problem. The program is teaching kids how to deal with bullies. This is helping more children feel safe in school.

One school principal is working to end this negative behavior. Last year, he decided to let students know bullying is not allowed there. Students are now encouraged to report bullies and stand up for themselves. Those found to be bullies face harsh penalties. Students at his school participate in a program called “Be Bold.” In this program, students work together to prevent violence. They do skits and go into classrooms to talk about the problem. They give other students strategies on how to deal with bullies.

The principal says that the school has changed since he has addressed the bullying problem. But there are other steps parents can take to help their children with this problem. First, students and their parents should know the school's rules about bullying and what they should do if it happens. Second, children should be taught to stand up for themselves. They should try to resolve issues by talking them out. If the problem continues, parents and children should record each incident. Children should tell someone if they are being picked on. Many children keep bullying a secret.

Parents should look for warning signs of bullying. These can include cuts and bruises, worrying, wanting to stay home from school, or a sudden drop in grades.

(This was adapted from an original story provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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