From kindergarten to high school, bullying is something that affects kids all across the country. That’s why NBC has launched A Week of Awareness, and will air a special Dateline report Sunday.
Bullying is the repeated act of intimidation or violence by a person or group, with the purpose of harming someone who is weaker. It includes hitting, threatening, intimidating, maliciously teasing and taunting, name-calling, sexual remarks, stealing or damaging property and spreading rumors. Experts say it’s at its peak during the middle school years.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently designated bullying as a “national health crisis,” affecting 3-million kids a year, and in this “digital age” of texting, tweeting, and other forms of social media, the world of cyber bullying has parents, educators, law enforcement and lawmakers looking for new ways to stop the growing problem.
Eighth grade student Legare Stevenson says it really hits home. “You hear all the time, all these teens who are committing suicide because of all the severe bullying they’re getting, and I don’t like to hear about that because some of my friends get bullied sometimes, and I know how upset they get and so it’s very personal to me.”
Here are some warning signs to look out for that may indicate your child is being bullied: has unexplained cuts, bruises, and scratches; comes home regularly with clothes or books destroyed; frightened of walking to and from school; afraid to go to school; poor school work; comes home starving; have trouble sleeping; withdrawn, lack confidence; distressed and anxious; becomes aggressive and unreasonable.
Tuesday on News 2, we’ll take a look at what schools are doing to prevent the problem.
Sunday March 6 Dateline will air a special ‘My Kid Would Never’ focusing on the way kids act in bullying situations.