The numbers show, one out of every four children has been a victim of bullies. News 2 takes a look at how law enforcement and school leaders are joining forces to take action to prevent bullying.
Around one hundred school resource officers and educators from the Charleston area are undergoing training to keep students safe. Lt. Mark McColman is president of South Carolina Association of School Resource officers. He says, “We’ve got to help these children, that’s the whole point of having a school resource officer. We’re there for the children. We’re concentrating this year on bullying and partnerships between schools and school resource officers.” This full day session in North Charleston is one of four regional training seminars being held in partnership with law enforcement, the U.S. Attorneys Office, the Department of Education, and school districts. The goal is to help educators and law enforcement work together to build bully resistant schools. McColman says, “If you go back and look at a majority of all our school shootings, usually the suspects are victims of bullying. It’s progressing and with the internet, and social media and everything, it’s gotten to the point where kids are hurt 24-7. It comes out on Facebook pages and Twitter. It’s really affecting the kids.”
Dr. Bob Stevens is director of prevention and intervention services for Charleston County School District. Dr. Stevens says, “Nationally, about 42-percent of the students say they were bullied sometime in their school career. South Carolina, just last year did a survey, and that number came out at 41-percent, and the survey we did a couple of years ago in Charleston county, about 40-percent of our students. So within just a few percentage points, we match the national, and that’s much too high. The police officers in our schools are a wonderful help to help the schools themselves address the bullying problem, so a conference like this, brings the schools along with the the school resource officers together, and can go a long way to help us reduce bullying in the schools.”
Lt. Mark McColman says, “If a child is bullied, he would know he had an avenue to go and talk to someone and concentrate on the problem, and intervene somehow to stop that bully.”
Dateline will air a special report on bullying March 6th, Sunday night, called, “My Kid Would Never.” It airs at 7pm on NBC-2.