Back to School: Bullying

September 04, 2017 06:47 AM

The kids are headed back to school this week, so what should you tell them about bullying as they go back to the classroom?

One in four kids get bullied and one in five kids are actually doing the bullying, according to the Centers for Disease Control. If you don't encourage your kids to speak up about bullying, there's a chance you won't notice it's happening.

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Our back to school family, The Lairds from Pittsford, have not dealt with any serious bullying but that doesn't mean they're out of the water.

"It's not just about them being bullied, it's also witnessing bullying and making sure they do the right thing," Jay Laird said. "Hopefully, with any luck they're not actually the ones doing the bullying."

Laird believes social media could contribute to bullying.

"It's definitely something we're going to face at some point, I'm sure especially with everyone being on social media and everyone being on social media at a younger and younger age," Jay Laird said. 

The majority of incidents go unreported. Ruth Turner, director of Student Support Services at Rochester City School District says there are signs to look for.

"Oftentimes students who are being bullied will avoid school, they'll complain of a headache or stomach ache," Turner said.  "You'll see that there's a lack of interest concerning school."

If you do see this happening, Turner has some tips for parents.

"The most important thing to tell them is to always tell a trusted adult if it's something beyond your control," Turner said. "Sometimes kids will pick on other kids, or bully other kids and if they stand up for themselves it resolves itself, but often times it doesn't and you need adults to intervene."

The Lairds say they've taught their kids to speak up.

"I'm super grateful that they come home every day and tell me about their day, what went on, and who did what, or who did this," Jenny Laird said.

When reporting bullying, it's important to use a chain of command. First tell the teacher, then if the problem continues, a guidance counselor, then as a last resort see an administrator.

The toughest part of stopping bullying has always been getting students to report it. Rochester City School District has an online platform where parents and students can anonymously report bullying.


Kaci Jones

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