Apr 5, 2010 8:04 AM by John Romero
If we all think back to our childhood we probably remember being bullied at one point. In Massachusetts a 15 year old girl committed suicide after being verbally and physically intimidated for months at her school. At least 9 kids are being charged because of the bullying. "You cannot minimize this. This has long term, lasting effects." explains Susan Payne with Safe to Tell, an anonymous bully reporting organization.
You may think of kids getting beaten up when bullying comes to mind. Payne says it isn't always about violence. "The things that we're looking for aren't always the pushing and the shoving." she explains, "We're looking for someone that's specifically excluding someone or that targeted meanness." A big part of prevention comes from other kids at school. "Young people need to know what to watch for. They are the first one's to see the signs that someone is involved in bullying or is the target of a bully." says Payne.
Some signs to look for in your child include withdrawal, changes in eating or sleeping habits, feeling ill in the morning, or talk of suicide. Payne says ultimately it's the parents which play the biggest role by having an open dialogue with their kids. "They need to make sure that their kids know how important their roll is and what to do if their faced with this situation."
CLICK HERE for more on Safe to Tell, a resource for kids or parents to anonymously report bullying or other problems.