Recent tragedies have heightened the awareness of bullying, and schools are taking a stand.
Four bullied Mentor High School students took their own lives between 2006 and 2008. An attorney for two of the families says the Mentor School District had a hands-off approach to bullying, however, the district's superintendent says they are working to fight it. One strategy encourages elementary school students to take a pledge to stand up to bullies and report them to adults. Local psychologist Dr. Gary Wolfgang says bullying is everywhere.
"It's prevalent. It's around a lot. What we're finding is there's a lot of cyber bullying. Social network sites, MySpace, etc. is a place where especially kids, junior high and high school can go on and post comments that are derogatory and insulting," says Dr. Wolfgang.
Dr. Wolfgang says it's going to take everyone to put an end to bullying. Parents, teachers, the community, and fellow students need to stand up to bullies.
"All of us together have to respond. I think that when there are consequences in place for the perpetrators."
We will have a more extensive report on bullying and what local schools are doing to prevent and manage it this Sunday, October 17 on WHIZ News at 11:00 p.m.
Anyone who has a personal experience with bullying and would like to speak with us about the dangers and effects, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.