The Hollywood documentary, “Bully,” is bringing attention to an age old problem. Whether the harassment is physical or mental, it can have a tragic impact on young victims, including death. ABC 4 wants to empower you and your family against this often violent badgering.
Chelsea Gevara says she sees bullying at her school, Fox Hollow Elementary.
"I’ve never seen physical but usually it’s verbal, just talking, just kind of ruining their day the way you speak to them," she said.
Kayshawn Maunrath sees younger kids get badgered too.
"It makes me feel like little kids don't have any power in front of older kids," Maunarath said.
Bullying on the playground is nothing new, we all saw that, but technology is posing a new problem for teachers.
"We have had some videos posted; we have had texting, in the past I have never had to deal with it. And this year I have had to deal with it three times," said Fox Hollow principal Terri Summers.
Verbal badgering from behind a keyboard on social sites like Facebook has lead to children faking sickness to avoid their tormenters.
“If child is concerned about coming to school or uncomfortable and to your kid that's a big deal,” summers said.
Fox Hollow is now empowering kids to stand up to the bullies. They call their student leaders “Safe School Ambassadors.” Gevara is one of them.
"What a Safe School Ambassador does is we make kids realize bullying is a problem,” Gevara said.
Amazing strides are being taken by Fox Hollow. But this school can’t do it alone. We wanted to find out what parents can to protect children from being bullied as well.
“I always appreciate it when a parent calls me and says this has been happening want to let you know,” Summers said.
She said a lot of times; parents will get more information from a child than teachers can. But sometimes, bullying gets so out of hand, authorities need to get involved. So when should you go to police?
“Obviously if the situation has risen to where people are getting assaulted, property being stolen, law enforcement needs to be involved” said lt. Justin Hoyal of the Unified Police Department.
If you go to police, take pictures and get video to help officers create a case.
No one, parents, teachers or police want to see this type of torment, and bottom line, none of us should tolerate it. It's up to everyone to put a stop to this senseless harassment.
Some more bullying statistics:
- Around 160,000 children miss school every day in fear of being bullied.
- 2.7 million kids are bullied each year.
- In Utah, 19% of students say they're being bullied online.