Beating the Bully: Part One

According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, almost 30 percent of youth in the United States, are estimated to be involved in bullying either as a bully, a target, or both.

Bullying is when someone continually threatens another in a negative manner in more than one instance.

School administrators say bullying behavior occurs repeatedly and over time, not just one instance.

Jana Hardin says she began to notice a change in her teenage son's school work and she didn't know what was wrong.

She says: "His grades began to fail, he didn't want to go to school, that was my first sign because he's always thoroughly enjoyed school and was always a straight 'A' and 'B' student, so that really sent up a red flag."

Jana says at first she thought it was "kids being kids," but after a little bit of research she says she discovered it was bullying.

Dr. James Davis, a psychologist, says: "Boys usually intimidate physically, girls it's usually, a lot of times more emotional or verbal intimidation. They may be bullying by excluding someone from the group by putting them down, by verbal harassment, by name calling."

Psychologists and school administrators say bullying is when someone continually treats someone in a negative manner, which occurs in more than one instance.

Nancy Bertuleit, with Warren County Schools, says: "When kids are rude to each other they might call a name, and name calling can be bullying, but it's repeated. It's more of a harassing nature and it's got negative consequences. It's preying on a child who's perceived to be weaker or more vulnerable."

Bertuleit says parents need to keep the lines of communication open and look for changes in their child's behavior.

She says: "Signs are if things are tattered or if they notice changes in their backpacks, their books, or their papers. How did this happen, things like that."

Bertuleit says parents should also talk to their children about their day, their friends... and how things are.

Jana says through her family's experiences she wants her children to know they can come to her at anytime.

Bertuleit says if parents do notice a change in their child's behavior, they should call the school, or Board of Education to get to the root of the problem.

For more information, you can log onto http://www.safeyouth.org/scripts/index.asp.


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