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April 1st, 2010
07:54 AM ET

What do you say to your kids about bullying?

We’ve seen several stories making headlines lately of young kids taking their own lives because of bullying. Most recently we’ve telling you about the death of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She was pretty, smart and relatively new to the school. She was bullied relentlessly in the hallways and online and then she eventually hanged herself.

These “bullycides” seems to be a growing problem that parents and schools have to deal with. This got us thinking…

What do you say to your kids about bullying?

Share your thoughts and we’ll read some of your responses during the 10 o’clock hour of CNN Newsroom.


Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Kyra Phillips
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. John

    That's okay son. Take all the beating. When you grow-up, they'll all be working for you. Then you can treat them even worse.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  2. Dan

    Bullying is wrong; however, it is not the responsibility of the teachers to stop it. It begins at HOME. PARENTS, teach and discipline your children. NOT the schools.
    Happy Easter all. The grave is empty.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  3. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    Stay away from that kind! Look at what they are doing from a distance, and don't you ever do that! Always make friends with the underdog. (I still do this to this very day, and when it comes to "bullies"... I BITE!)

    April 1, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  4. Mike from Texas

    You can say all you want if your kid is mean and out of control and thinks he or she knows more then you the only thing you can do is call the cops on them and pray that they will run away from home having a live in terroist is no fun .

    April 1, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  5. Darin Williams

    I taught my sons to protect themselves from bullies, and to be self-confident so that name calling would have little effect on them. The truth is that a parent can not be with their children all the time so they must raise them with the tools to care for themselves. I believe if one doesn't prepare their child for what may happen leaves it them defenseless and ignorant for the situation. My son was bullied by the principle of his school, so much that he was forced to go to a magnet school, he dealt with it and in the end he thinks he is better off. I realize what it has cost him, but without the money for a lawyer there is little that can be done.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  6. Jake Smith

    I think the measures the parents are trying to make against the school and kids are unreal. Bulling has always happened in schools to any child. Everybody gets bullied, its all how one deals with it. Some cant handle it and others can. Three of the kids are in court... COURT... for bullying. Kids need to either take the bullying or give it back. Its how life always works. Its where the toughness in people are built. now parents are suing over it. I say suck it up

    April 1, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  7. Dan Lafayette,IN

    I told my son to learn to love all people, he says that is hard to do but I said to him that Jesus loves all people and that we should try to be more like HIM, caring for all people not just people in your own click to make you look badder or better then others because we all are created equal!

    April 1, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  8. michael armstrong sr.

    The C.P.S. needs to pay more attention to kids abusing kids rather then there parents kids now days are mean as hell .

    April 1, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  9. Maiden9

    I understand that not many parents take this approach and I respect everyone's parenting methods, but I don't allow my child to make a doormat of herself. If anyone takes issue with her and decides to verbally attack her, I give her full license to do the same in return. The one rule I keep is that she is not to throw the first blow in any fight.

    If she is struck first and retaliates I have no problem defending her before the principal provided that is indeed what happened. Even I learned during my own school years that some students learn to respect those who defend themselves.

    However, I must say, it surprises me that Prince's "friends" did nothing to defend her, so much for friends. I remember when being a true friend meant that you would gladly go to bat for one another.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  10. Sameer

    It astonishes me that some people think bullying builds up characer and they should let it be. If you have faced it you know how much it hurts. Frankly i believe parents can do less than what school authorities can do. The suing culture in USA has made schools to lenient and afraid of action.

    One slap on the face and all the bully's will come crying out.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  11. Brian

    I do not think the use of the term "bullying" to define what is serious harassment and assault is proper. I agree that bullying is a problem and I discuss the issue with my son as he has run into the playground bully many times but that discussion revolves around name calling and chasing kids off the slide, along with other less serious topics. These stories are much different then cases of statutory rape, assault, and other very serious charges that are being grouped with the kind of "bullying" most kids run into from time to time.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  12. Joe

    Although dan below is right parents should teach there kid right from wrong with interacting with kids, but it is not just the parents fault. parents cant watch there kids 24/7 there for when the kids are at school the teachers should have responsibility for not putting a stop to this. kids will be kids but its up to adults to correct them

    April 1, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  13. adib

    I cannot understand when ure kid is living it , u as a parent know of it, but yet dont do any effort to stop it!

    i think parents should be more proactive, go to the school, talk to the ppl in charge and get some things done!!!

    April 1, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  14. Greg & Matt in Houston

    As Gay parents we have had to deal with our kids being bullied for a long time. That certainly does not render them incapable of being bullies. I think the best thing we taught our kids is that they should always defend the person being bullied, no matter how unpopular it makes you. Here in Texas they still wink wink, nod nod, condone bullying which is really pathetic.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  15. Faiza Mohamed

    Am sorry to say but i would say what is wrong with your hands if anyone beats you, you beat them back even worse. I cant be silent or hope for things to work out in a different way because it may be too late. anyone who harasses anyone deserves to be harassed twice as much because those people we are calling teachers will definitely not see it and take responsibility. So to sum it up am teaching my child to fight back there and then.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  16. linda

    I will say this kyra...I was a bullied in middle school student over 30 years ago and it affects me still. My bully was a boy whose name I will never forget and whose acts lasted 6 plus years. He even verbally attacked me at a bus stop when I was in college. Suicide wasn't an option for me but I will say this...I thought about it all those years ago and even today people remember me as the girl who wanted to be invisible. I am so glad you are addressing this issue because the affects for those who survived it last a lifetime

    April 1, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  17. Laurie

    Our girls have parents who both experienced severe bullying as kids. We taught them to take care of underdog kids and be leaders in intervening when harassment occurs. Easier to do in elementary school, harder in high school where no one wants to stand out and become a target themselves. Our popular 8th grader experienced bullying when she moved from the small elementary to the big high school so now has first hand experience of what it feels like. She is learning ways to exert influence among her peer group so it's more than one against a bully.

    My girls find the phrase clunky, but we all get it: "unkind is uncool".

    April 1, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  18. keith

    Why do parents always say the teacher should do more to stop the bullying. why not start at home and teach the kids how to respect each other. i know when i was growing up there was teasing and bullying.if you want the teachers to have the responsibility of what all the kids do then pay them more' and i think the kids learn how to treat others from their parents , they way this society thinks now is we blame everybody else but look in the mirror and take responsibility for our own actions

    April 1, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  19. sue

    These stories are so sad. I teach my kids about feelings. Bullies never think about how "they" would feel if the situation was reversed. We all have the same inside stuff regardless of how we look on the outside. You can only teach ur kids morals and ethics and hope they aren't influenced wrongly by their peers. I pray I'm doing a good job! God bless those who've had to deal with bullies. I do believe they'll get what they deserve in the end.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  20. Tracey Huntley

    Being a victim of bullying myself, simply because I was the new kid in a small town, I try to teach my two sons to be the one to 'stand up' against bullies. If they see another child being picked on, be the one to make the difference. Speak out! Speak up!
    Not much has changed where I went to school, bullying is still rampid, the school does nothing, and ironically one of my former bullies is now a teacher there.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  21. Jane

    Parents don't have parenting skills. Their idea of parenting is bullying – at home. Just go to a store and watch the interaction between parents and their kids. Everyone need to learn RESPECT!

    April 1, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  22. S.Harris

    I say to my kids if they are just calling you names ignore it and go on, but if they pass the first hit then you tear into them with all your might even if it means getting expelled from school for awhile. I also say talk up for yourself and let the teacher or Principal know what really happened and if they do nothing at least you have informed them, but we won't be getting beat up every day no way. If all else fails I would pull my kid from that school. I also let my kids know that Suicide is not the answer and the reasons why iincluding my religious reasons.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  23. Steven

    As third generation educator in my family and a teacher for fourteen years, I have seen first hand what bullying does to children. However, what has not been brought up in this discussion are the following facts within the public school system today:
    1. "Upper class"parents often dominate school boards, and influence school administrators. The children of these parents are often the same kids who do the bullying.
    2.When the parents of the bullies are confronted, they often enable and downplay the severity of the behaviors and charges.
    3.As the social-economic conditions get worse in our society; so does the bullying.
    4. A larger number of school employees are expected to act as these kids parents; not just educators.
    5. Cutbacks in social services within school districts (we have one counselor for 500 kids).
    5. How do schools regulate twitter, face book, e-mail?
    Thank you
    Steven Hall

    April 1, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  24. Kelly

    This has gone way to far and legal actions must be taken to stop this. First, parents should be held accountable for their childrens actions. Next, teachers and school administrators must be held accountable for what goes on in the classroom and on the school campus. They are responsible for keeping our children safe while in school. This is truely sad. No child should be bullied to the point of suicide, they're our future.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  25. Sean Sully

    It sure is easy to take shots at the school, but CNN would take a hard look at how the courts have made it very difficult to control student free speech. Look Emmett v. Kent School District Number 415 and you will see what the schools are up against.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  26. Leanne Tedesco

    My husband and I have 3 small boys fairly close in age and we have witnessed them bullying each other from time to time. We always stop the situation and make sure they have a consequence for their action. Most importantly we make them hug and say " I am sorry " and if it isn't sincere we repeat the process. I cannot say this solves all of our fights and bickering- but we do make sure a discussion and consequences occur when a bullying situation happens in our own home. We also explain the concept of "you reap what you sow" and this is the most important dialogue we have in our house. Children seem to go thru life without realizing and experiencing consequences- then all of a sudden they are in a court trial or in jail and the parents are wondering why.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  27. Martha

    I have a daugher who is now in her 40s. She was always bullied
    from jr high on thru the first couple of years of college by the girls.
    Why this happens to some people I don't understand but it's usually
    these really nice kids who have never been exposed at home to abuse. WHat I ended up doing was drive her to school and picked her up so she wasn't teased on the bus. You have to stay close
    to your children under these circumstances and listen to them....but it's a horrible problem and very distressing to the parents. THese teachers need to be taught in teacher training how to handle this.
    They currently are NOT. This daugher of mine is now a public school teacher and she is very aware of bullying and says she brings out these children who are teased and makes them feel good in front of the other students. There are ways teachers can help.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  28. mimi

    I've always told her to treat people the way you wanted to be treated. Try to give as much love and respect to everybody that you can. Childhood is to short. I wish we were back in Mayberry times.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  29. Melodey

    I personally think bullying should be taught at home by parents, redirected by teachers/councelors, and the kids held responsible. I used to bully, until it happened to me.....so I know both sides of this. When being bullied, you feel like you're on a stage and have no way out. When someone bullies another, they know in their head (when they are doin it) that it is wrong. You never know what a person is dealing with and what your bullying can potentially do to an individual. It is everyone's business when life or death is on the line. Parents, please talk with your kids/relatives. Parents and alike, please pay attention to the life you could possibly save. Kids....remember to do your part and know that karma always makes its way around. Happy Easter & God Bless America!

    April 1, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  30. Deb Barry

    I addressed the issue of bullying not only with my own two children as they were growing up but also with "my" children in the classroom as a public high school teacher. I've always believed that being proactive about any issue is the best approach. Too many times we end up reacting to tragic circumstances such as those in the news these days. Educating people of all ages is so important. With my own children, I took them to places where they could interact with people and cultures different from where we lived AND invited others into our home to do the same. While teaching, I intervened in several instances of bullying and worked with those students individually. I also created programs for the school to help raise awareness and understanding of differences, promoting respect and tolerance.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  31. keena

    bullying is not a new thing..kids have bullied kids for centurys..in the end its the perants falut..learn how to control your kids..stop thinking that the schools are responsible for rasing them..and parents need to help the kids who get picked on to get confedant about who they are and not allow others to dring them down..

    April 1, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  32. Elaine

    The bullying problem seems to be an extension of society interaction as a whole. The incivility in political interaction, the proliferation of teen angst clic on clic rivalry depicted over and over in movies and the tribal us against them supposed reality shows. Isn't the media as a whole fostering conflict on anescalating scale?

    And the teens do not have the development to moderate their behavior, coupled with less supervision to model appropriate treatment of others.

    There are many outstanding teens but a large segment are drawn into clic agression or even gangs.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  33. NJ07108

    I had one incident with my child because she is so quiet and hates confrontation, so I went to the teacher and the principal. It was resolved that 1 time, if it had not been resolved I would have then requested a meeting with the child's parents. I kept notes of the incidents, the parties involved, and the person that it was reported to. I teach my children that if you can't be a person's friend then stay away from that person. Also, that no matter what happens that they could always talk to me about anything, especially if someone is teasing or bullying them. But, we as parents must teach our children to love and respect themselves first, we must build their confidence and strength.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:17 am |
  34. wilma cassol

    Hi Kyra,

    After watching the bullying incident report, I feel compelled to respond.
    I was interested in the administrators response that policies were
    being changed. What policy would be necessary for any responsible
    adult to respond to bullying reports? I believe the school teachers and
    administrators who fail to provide support for these students and
    assurance that they can provide a safe environment should be dismissed. As long as we accept these lame excuses and promises
    of change, these situations will continue to plague our youth.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:17 am |
  35. kenneth chaney

    considering that we still have tha same school system as "little house on the praire", it seems to me its time to dispose of this system and start anew. my child will be "virtual" schooled-not for religous reasons-but precisely the same reasons discussed here and for a real education of course. by the way, there were many episodes on "little house" concerning bullying. not much has changed, except for the worse. scrap the whole thing and start over.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:17 am |
  36. Marlene

    My 10 yr old daughter went through bullying earlier this year. Her teacher's response was always "I didn't see anything or hear anything, so there's nothing I can do" and "your daughter needs to get a thicker skin". I sent dozens of emails to the teacher, principal, a couple of meetings, and eventually phone calls to the Superintendant's office, I finally got my daughter moved to a new class. I also had to track down a couple of the parents MYSELF and inform them what their children were doing – they were totally unaware. It was an exhausting endeavor, but thank God I persisted.

    School teachers and administrators do need to be aware and responsive to bullying. Notes need to be sent home to parents to allow them an opportunity to correct their child's behavior. If this doesn't work, what about good old fashioned expellment from school?

    April 1, 2010 at 9:17 am |
  37. mnj

    Kyra the adults need to look in the mirror. What have we been seeing on the web, news,etc since the election of the 1st black man. Racial comments, negative visual displays, adults in the streets yelling and throwing objects,carring guns,etc and we expect our children to not be influnced by this .Do not expect our kids to behave if we not not stand and confront bad behavior then how can they.
    Our children learn what they see, US

    April 1, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  38. SeanB

    Unfortunately, bullying was way too familiar for me and essentially was responsible for the worst four years of my life while I attended high school. It's unbelievable how cruel kids could be. I remember having thoughts of suicide and remembering the only reason I never took the next step was because of the simple fact I never had the "guts" to. I'd tell my kids put yourself in the shoes of those victims of bullying and just try to imagine how miserable it must be to dread going to school everyday where you worry about how bad this day is going to be and you just hope and pray that's it over quickly. Bullying is not just tossing a few jokes around for fun. It has really become an epidemic where innocent kids are losing their lives over something so trivial and stupid.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  39. Sean S. from Houston, TX

    The problem with trying to help your child with bullies is that you might make things worse. As a child who was bullied myself, and though my mother didn't care, I came to understand the dynamics. If you talk to school administrators on behalf of the child, the bully might get punished but your child face retribution from the bully. You must walk a delicate line to actually help the situation.

    If you child tells you that he/she is being bullied, you let you child know that you are there to help. Actually listen and do NOT question the truth of their statements. Ask your child about the people who are bullied at the school and who are the bullies. You contact every parent you can with children at the school and you make yourself heard to the school administrators. Every reasonable parent wants to know that their child is safe and we all know that retribution against a crowd (or the children of a crowd) is much more difficult.. The administrators can then act without the bullies being able to respond.

    Parents must act with school administrators to prevent bullying from happening. You cannot control the behavior of children at the school. If you speak as a mass, your child is

    April 1, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  40. F. Hofer

    I agree that the school should share in the accountability for this tragic event, but what about the parents of the children who did the bullying? Why has our society taken the responsibility of parenting out of the hands of the mothers and fathers and put the responsibility on the schools. Respect for others and other key live values start in the home, not the school.

    It is also these same parents that have basically tied the hands of the school's administrators and teachers from being able to properly discipline in the class rooms and hallways of our public schools. So don't focus all the attention on the schools. Parents have been and always will be the most important instructors for their children.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  41. RMD

    Good Morning, Kyra,

    We all know bullying has been going on since we grew up...certainly not to the extent as it is now, thanks to the internet, tv. Bullying happens because parents demean others and do not respect the individual. They teach their kids bullying,wittingly or unwittingly by some, others in their general attitudes.

    It is far past time for it to be addressed. It should be denounced by every adult in all walks of life but most especially parents, teachers, bus drivers, anyone dealing directly with children.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  42. Mary Brown

    Parents need to teach their children when they are young that all people are different and that's what makes life interesting. It doesn't give anyone the right to make fun of someone.
    Let your child know, no one has the right to bully you, and that you would support them if they do, change school or home school if necessary.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  43. Alan gallegos

    The way they are creating laws left and right they need to go ahead and create a federal law holding anyone whom bullies another to the point they commit suicide they can and should be held accountable.If im sitting with my friend playing with a gun and it goes off and kills my friend which is a total accident i still can be charged and sentenced to prison for manslaughter, so why is it when someone bullies to the point someone harms themselves i think that person should be held more liable in that death than to accidentally kill a friend.Only in America!

    April 1, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  44. Denise Lauzon

    It's not surprising that so many kids get bullied at school and in fact it's the idial setting for that kind of behavior to occur. The school's focus is set only on academic achievement and it hasn't been recognized that kids need to be shown how to interact with each other. A special programm adapted to each level should be in place and presented on the form of a workshop where kids would learn to communicate with each other. These workshops could include games, debates, discussions, etc. where the kids would work in teams. We have to admit that when it comes to communication, the youth at schol is left to itself with the results that we know.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  45. RJ Anderson

    I'm a teacher - looking at retirement - in part because of bullying and lack of respect by students toward other students. NOTHING is done when the administration is informed about a problem with students. There are no consequences! It's frustrating. Please don't use my name.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  46. Magneto

    I have to agree with what the earlier poster said. Bullying is just part of what happens among kids in schools, it always has been.I am not saying that those who bully should not be reprimanded; of course they should. However, it should NOT be a matter for police and criminal courts; discipline in these cases should be left up to the school and the parents.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  47. Wayne MacDougall

    Kyra,
    I concerned about prosicuting bullys as accessorys to suicide. I admit there needs to be a punnishment of some type through the school system such as instant expultion for any physical bulling and for prolonged verbal abuse perhaps a suspention. but if we take this to the courts I'm scared that the kids that are bent on suicide and have already made up there minds to do so could set other kids up for arrest on purpose and then even if it doesnt stick it'll be on some type of record. solution: for physical bulling instant expultion, and if the parents have to move to get there kids in another school so be it! Verbal bulling: instant suspention and one year of councling.
    P.S. please correct my spelling, I'm just to upset to go back to shorten and correct it all....Wayne

    April 1, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  48. Emmanuel Bel

    Kyra it's very simple to stop the bullying: each and every school need to install video cameras everywhere in school, including classrooms, bathrooms, playgrounds, i mean everywhere and have the principals and their teams revue the video system on daily basis; then they will not have an excuse for not knowing that bullying was happening.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  49. michael armstrong sr.

    What do you say to your kid if you have no idea it's going on it's up to the school's to inform the parents there kids are being crack heads .

    April 1, 2010 at 9:22 am |
  50. Teachermom

    My son attends the school where I teach. When brought to the administration's attention, these bullies are dealt with to the extent the school system is able, and if the bullying becomes physical, legal action can be taken.,

    I tell my son, who has been the victim of bullying, to report it to our trusted administrators because bullies should be held accountable for their actions.

    I also tell him to learn to ignore, ignore, ignore because people who bully usually are very unhappy and want to spread their unhappiness or have even been taught bullying by their own parents. I'm also fortunate enough to have a great resource in our media center – books about how to make a bully ineffective with your own innocuous comments. I use these with my son and my own students.

    Unfortunately, bullying will always be in our schools. Teaching our kids to ignore, report or even defend themselves is the best we can do.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:22 am |
  51. Emerson

    The media and the tv industry should be more accurate when those tv programs shows always the bully as a funny thing and leadership or as a cool thing, always the coolest guys are the one perfect and handsome and the one that has to be followed? we as parents know that is WRONG!! but as long as our kids see it every day on tv and movies is going to be hard to finished with this problem,we should start to create in our kids minds that we can not tolerate this type of behaviour, not even allowed in just a tv show or movie, if they see it every day would remain in our society, we should be start to changed this.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:23 am |
  52. Prince Andrew Young-Owolanke

    Good Afternoon to you Kyra,

    I reside in Northern Ireland, i do watched your programme every blessed day i have to say that you are the BESTin the broadcasting industry at the moment, keep it up!!!

    Warmly.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:23 am |
  53. Stephen

    Kyra it is heart breaking to know that children are having to deal with bulling at a level they are taking their lives. But I have to say it. When WE took pray out of our schools...when God is not there then the Devil moves in and this is how he works. The sad thing is that even CNN won"t step up and say this for your own fears!

    April 1, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  54. Angus

    There have been some very good posts with some very good advice. I would like to add this: as an educator, I do feel that bullying should be dealt with by all parties concerned. Of course, the parents should raise their children with the tools to deal with bullies. They should also teach their children not to be a bully and how to respect others. Teachers should deal with bullying quickly and decisively, letting both sets of parents know. Sadly, most parents of bullies refuse to believe their child could be guilty of bullying, putting it off as "just being a teenage." As a Headmaster, if the bullying became physical, I not only called the parents, but also called the police, who would send an officer to speak with the bully and let them know the legal rights of the victim. Physical bullying is legally punishable.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  55. Miss R

    As a special education teacher my students are often targeted by bullies.
    1, It is best to communicate directly with the bully/their parents/school officials. Let them know that their actions will not be tolerated and that you are aware.
    2. Communicate with the "victim." Students who are bullied generally have a low self esteem. Find out why and build their confidence!
    3. School is merely a microcosm of the real world where children gain the tools to navigate it fo themselves and let's face it bullies still exist after high school graduation.

    Parents, teachers and school administrators need to stop pointing the finger and equally accept responsibility for what happens to the children who are in their care.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  56. Stanley Duett

    I was teased and Bullied as at kid, always called a sissy. I don't know how much this had afected me but I am now Gay. These kids parents need to put the brakes on now and it starts at home the schools can help but they can't do everything.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:26 am |
  57. John Nelson

    In 1987 my son, a freshman in High School at the time, had his head put in a toilet (not clean I might add) by 7-9 high school athletes and dunked several times. The school reaction: "they were good kids just having fun". There was going to be no punishment and of course there was going to be an "Athletic Event" and no punishment. During his years in school he was often bullied and threatened. He finished High School at mid-semester his senior year and entered the military. He re-enlisted after 4 years and was home on leave. He was beaten, held against his will and pictures taken of him by 3 guys and this time he retaliated. Never had any issues with the law prior and excelled in the military. His retaliation will cost him 25 years or more of his life.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  58. CRK

    I have experienced bullying from both sides – as a teacher and as a parent of a child who was bullied. It's difficult to fully blame the schools, teachers, and administrators. They already know it is a problem and are eager to intervene once they learn about it. But they only have a small amount of influence. Think about how corporate bullying is...the CEO isn't going to stop it by being more watchful. Bullies are smart – they know how to be sneaky and not get caught. Or they do it while in the restroom or lunch or recess or whenever the teacher isn't looking. They can also do it on the bus ride and at the bus stops. Inside the classroom, they say things under their breath.

    When we suspected my son of being bullied, we kept asking him, teachers and even the principal kept asking but he insisted the group was just joking around. Finally he snapped, but only because we kept asking him and pointing out behavior we knew was more than joking. Even though the school conducted anti-bullying programs, problems continued. Eventually, we had to move him to another school in spite of how much we loved the former school community. However, that move has made all the difference! We realize that bullying is everywhere, but sometimes, there are certain groups of children who create a bad climate, and the only option is to split them up or leave the environment.

    Lastly, our new school had a wonderful speaker for both parents and students about bullying. It was focused on the VICTIM! And how to cope with it. I can't remember his name, but he provided realistic strategies because he used to counsel kids who were bullies. He studied them and really discovered their motivation before developing his coping strategies.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  59. Betty

    The bullying has to STOP. There should be severe punishment or suspension. I was in 8th grade when it happened to me. I was the only 7th grader to make cheerleader, had a great looking boyfriend and was excited by life. I was called names, gave the silent treatment by all no one talked to me or they would become victims also. The day I got glue on my towel in gym class was the last straw. I was scared, lost and humiliated.

    To this day I am still haunted by the treatment my so called friends did to me. The bullying has gone way out of hand to teens committing suicide. It HURTS and never goes away. It took years for me to become friends with another women. 8th grade to 35 years old. I am now 61 and the memory of what I went thru scares me to death for my grandchildren. Luckily my own son's did not have this problem in their life growing up.

    This grandma will not let her grandchildren go thru this nightmare of bullying.
    The schools should be teaching adults and children in school about what the effects of bullying does to your mental state and also to your ability to learn, socialize and not be afraid at every turn of your day that you could end up committing suicide because of it.

    Thanks

    April 1, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  60. Sarah-Ayn B.

    From the time I started school I spent everyday of my life getting bullied and picked on from the other kids in my class. It played a huge role in the development of the depression I was diagnosed with in 2004. When I was in the 8th grade there was a group a girls who spent their whole day doing things to hurt me. My mom tried to get involved but it never helped. I tried to kill myself when I was 14 years old because I just couldn't take it anymore. I was lucky, I got help. I went to therapy and I was in a mental hospital for inpatient treatment.

    I wish that all parents would have a conversation with their kids and tell them that bullying is not okay. It has consequences and sometimes it may seem like it's not a big deal to them, but to the person who is getting bullied...well, it's everything. It occupies most of the thoughts that run through the persons mind on a daily basis. All children have the right to go to school and get an education, but how is that possible for some children when they're afraid to even step foot in the parking lot, let alone the school.

    And for those who have children who are being bullied, those parents NEED to get more involved. NEED to go to the school, talk to the principal, don't stop talking until something is done.

    Even when the bullying stops it still stays with the person. Bullying causes more scarring effects than one could even being to understand.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  61. Ellie

    Our family moved and I started a new school in the 70's.
    I was overweight and teased unrelentlessly, and unmercifully that whole year, by the "click" , not a minute of peace and it never stopped. The difference was I think, there were a few students that befriended me and a few who DID stand up and tell the others to let up. This was a demonstration of good/bad character and upbringing and maturity. Not one adult or teacher seemed to notice a thing. Human nature/nurture has not changed. I am wondering if the internet and the social networking sites allow these adolescents to group, unite, plan the next harrassment toward another after hours, as it does seem to be more organized and less random than years ago. Further, you used to see this harrassment in the younger less mature kids, by the time one is 16 or even 18, they ought to be more mature.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  62. Shelly Walker

    Bulling goes back for ever.
    How do we stop it?
    Ask my redheaded 3 year old grandson Hunter. His Great-grand Father is a bully of little kids, His way is to pick on them until they get strong or break. "Its for their own good."
    Hunter had not even put together a full sentence yet when my Father was Bulling him.
    Gram-pa said he was going to take hes ear off with his pocket knife and Hunter just minded his own business. When we got ready to leave Gram-pa said it again.
    Hunter turned looked Gram-pa dead in the eye and and said in a full sentence. And with conviction!
    B nice 2 people Gram-pa!

    April 1, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  63. JANE

    I think most of this bullying goes back to the home. Bullies come from dysfunctional families as a rule where they are perhaps exposed to abuse and fighting by the parents. This is learned behaviour.
    The schools need to handle this more than they do because it is very disruptive to everyone. With all the hate and divorces am sure these people doing the bullying come from homes with no father or are
    never treated with love and kindness. They take out their frustration on these nice kids who come from good homes. That's why I dislike public schools for the most part and if u can afford it be aware if your kid is teased because it lowers their self esteem and remains with them always. I was teased as a child and it took me years to overcome it because all that teasing left me with a terrible inferiority complex. Once I got out into the world I discovered I was a very superior person but that darned school did a job on me. Also, invite nice children over to your home to play with your child if they are teased so they have a group of friends. Important. Know who your
    child's friends are.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  64. Fatimah

    Talk to your kids and tell them to treat others as they want to be treated. Also to remind our children to have a clear understanding of bring a bulliying situation to light to an adult. And that suicide is never the answer because middle school and high school is not forever but death is.

    however I think when you charge a child with something because a child commit suicide because of bulliying i think thats ridiciolus because that child didnt have to commit suicide they choose to.Which was a sad decsion.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  65. Armando Lara

    Friends of the 13 year old boy who committed suicide stated he was bullied "because he was short." That justification doesn't surprise me as being a "male" and being "short" in our society is seen as a negative, - an incurable and unpardonable defect. Even Frankenstein was viewed in a more positive light because at least he "tall." Seems as a trivial comment? Just look around at our political, military, corporate, societal and other leaders. Other than Secretary of Defense Bill Gates, who's short? So should it be a complete surprise to us that this young boy was driven to this degree of bullied desperation?

    April 1, 2010 at 9:38 am |
  66. Ke'Onya Miller

    I am a 15 year old, HighSchool student. I hear about bullying, and see bullying, and theres nothing I can do about it. If I do not have the bullies names then the administrators do not do anything about it. Its sad to see the children that kill themselves because of bullying, because noone should take their live because of someone elses ignorance and rude behavior. When you put adults on the show to talk about bullying, I kinda get upset because adults dont know what we kids go through. All the stress we have to face. To all the parents and the organizations trying to stop bullying, it's sad to say that isn't going to work. When kids walk on to a school campus, their teachers are the kids around them, the big stars, and popular people. When a parent says they taught their kid(s) better than to bully, they may have but kids today are great actors and actresses, they go to school and act one way and come home and act totally different. If we want this to change we need the teachers to pay attention to the "popular" kids and pull them aside and talk to them about being nice people the other kids will follow, or if you get celebrities to talk to kids then things may change. Its sad to see things like this on tv, it makes me hurt for the other kids, and their families, thank you for covering this on television, make people realize, the saying " sticks and stone may break my bones. but words my never hurt me" is not true. Words hurt emotionally, mentally and can drive to suicide. Physical violence too.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  67. kit barth

    Until there is true punishment inflickted on the bullies, nothing will change. The idea the school adminstration and teachers need to be trained to be more aware of bullying is wrong. If you have ever gone to school in your life, you know what it is and looks like. When a person lodges a complaint, that person is labled a "teachers pet". At which point the bullying becomes even more unbearable. If a teacher tries to get involved, their job could be threatened by the parents of the bullies. First offense, suspended for a month. Second offense, a stay in a detention center. Third offense, kicked out of school. Extreme punishment, maybe, but driving someone to suicide is the ultimate in extreme. A punishment has to be at level that will truely scare them in to compassion.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  68. Mitzi Ingold

    I don't have any children, but was bullied myself and this was more than 35 years ago! I see it getting tragically worse. My teachers saw what was going on and, literally, turned their backs to it. Like the problem would just go away or wasn't happening if they didn't see it?
    I realize now that there are bullies when you were in school and then you grow up, and there are bullies at work.
    You can try to place the blame on anyone or everyone involved, but that doesn't solve the problem. Putting an end to it is what needs to happen. What ever happened to 'Guidance Counselors' at schools? Students and faculty could report to this person or persons and the guidance counselor(s) would have to be responsible for solving the problem of the harrassment from the bullies.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  69. Beth

    As a former teacher & mother of 2 children who were bullied in school & on the bus as they grew up...they both were in resource for math (I know – big deal, right?) I can honestly say that it's extremely painful. To have children come home crying there eyes out made us become an activist with and for them. "Swift action" is what comes to mind when recalling these hurtful memories. We were on the phone with the principal not 2 minutes after they got off the bus with the principals. The bullies were kicked off the bus & parents were brought in...our action was swift & the school was as well. That was our way of being an activist for them. It was up to them to help themselves as well...try their hardest to ignore, walk away, & if it gets bad – tell a teacher or administrator that they feel comfortable with & they KNOW will do something about it. One more thing: give your child an outlet...for my daughter it was art & my son playing the drums...my 20 yr.old is now in art school & my son is in the jazz percussion band in high school.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  70. Michele

    Kyra,

    Bullying has to be elevated to the level of a hate crime. The same as a racially motivated crime or a crime against someone based on sexual orientation. It is assault and battery. Teachers and administrators have to be held accountable. When a child is being tormented on school property people know about it. I don't care what anyone says. They are the adults in charge, yet they think by saying they didn't know about the abuse it absolves them of any responsibility. Hold teachers, administrators AND parents accountable. Arrest them! They are the adults who are morally and ethically obligated to keep children safe. Attach a monetary value to the horrible damage that is done to the victims. When you hit people in their pocket books it snaps them to attention. Bring it to the level of a criminal act and you will see a change in attitude and behavior. I'm sure this seems "radical" to some. Come on! our kids are killing themselves over this. I would tell parents of bullying victims to never give up and never give in, fight for your children, it empowers a child when they know their parents are doing everything possible to protect them. Don't listen to school administrators, they are covering their a--. Create a support group, there really is power in numbers.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  71. Ron from Alabama

    Bullying has to be taken very seriously now a days! I remember when I was in school , my teachers would make their presence known in the hallways during a change of class. Rather than pointing fingers at whos to blame , we have to find a solution to fix this problem our children are facing. The first step should begin at home!!!

    Ron

    April 1, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  72. been there

    What about the teachers that bully?
    Or those that join the bullies?
    By the way, as an adult – ever have a bully boss?
    Individual cases, yes.
    In this instance, Hold the school responsible. Also,
    find a less hostile school for your child.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  73. Rod Brown

    I tell my kids to think about what people say or do, and why they say or do it. It's usualy ignorance that motivates people to lie or misinform others. Today, I used the example of Kyra claiming only one site offered "free" credit reports. The site she was promoting required me to join their service for $14.95 a month...of course, I could cancel after 7 days. No different than the "phony" sites she was complaining about.

    This lesson wasn't lost on my kids...don't let others affect your thinking, their opinions are just that...OPINIONS!

    Thanks for the object lesson...

    April 1, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  74. Scott Stodden

    You teach your kids that there are people in this world who are not nice but that doesn't give you the reason to be mean and be a bully! You tell them that if people are being mean that you go tell someone like a parent, teacher, or authority figure. This is a problem in this country with bullying in schools and its the schools jobs to do something about this, it should have never been an option for this girl Phoebe to even think about taking her life but when things happen to children kids respond differently and sometimes don't make the right choices this is why we have to have good relationships with our kids so they can tell us as parents anything!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    April 1, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  75. Cindy

    If you think your child is being bullied at school you must take action. My children were raised with respect, a value that many children, and many adults, are lacking today. Along with respect, the most important lesson I taught my children was to stand up for themselves. These are tools for survival. Unfortunately there is tremendous peer pressure in school today and any type of bullying which occurs at school can leave even a well rounded child feeling 'not so strong'. It's time to stop shifting the responsibility from one place to another. Parents, if you think this is happening to your child please pay attention and listen to them because things can escalate quickly. Put an end to it, and be firm about it.. And if you can't resolve it with your school, or things get worse, pull your child out. Yes, it's important for a child to learn how to stand up, but it is also as vitally important for a child to know they are heard, that someone out there has their back. This is a moral obligation for all of us, as parents, as teachers, as a community.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  76. Penny Blake

    Many people think kids should "ignore" a bully, or just "deal with it". This is easier said than done. The bully of today is very different from the 70s and 80s. Many of them are just out of control and undisciplined! A child is reluctant to identify a bully, because if nothing significant is done as far as discipline, then the bully will make it even harder on the child for tattling. Cameras in school hallways would catch some of this and make it easier to identify the bullies and their victims. But parents must take responsibility to protect their children from the bully by taking appropriate action themselves if the schools don't.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  77. Sandy Poole

    Kyra,
    We need to teach girls to be brave, strong, and how to fight. And how not to be dependent on others for their sense of worth.
    When I was 7, a little boy bullied me. I threw a punch with my fist at his nose and a fountain of blood gushed out. I loved it! No one ever bullied me again.
    Sandy

    April 1, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  78. Tee Roberson

    I tell my 11 year old son to not hit first but handle his business and always inform us. If he needs to tell and feels he'll be viewed as a tattle tell, then tell privately or we as his parents will handle it!

    April 1, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  79. CJ

    I was bullied for years. Finally my parents granted me permission to throw the second punch. After fighting back only twice, the bullying stopped forever. Administrators cannot punish bullies as well as a nerd that fights back.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  80. Lacy

    I tell my children that if someone is bullying them to go to the teacher or the bus driver if it happens to be on the bus. If that does not solve the problem they are to go to the principal. If that still does not work then to come back to me and I will go a step up to the superintendent of schools. My philosiphy has always been to treat others the way you want to be treated. I also let my kids know that they are to come to me with any problem no matter how big or small and I will do all that I can to help them. They can talk to me about any and everything. Being open with your children and letting them know that you will keep them safe and will listen to them and be on there side will make all the difference in the world.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  81. zack shafer

    yea i know all to well how this goes i was bully ed all threw school the teacher and all the others did nothing because i was not a jock, prep and my parents was not rich. if you not a jock or prep or rich and those are the kids that are bullying u they do nothing.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  82. Jim

    Without diminishing the current focus of the topic, failures and tragedies, I'm wondering when this conversation will turn to workplace bullying or mobbing in the workplace. I quit a higher education support job in May of 2009 because administrators could not correct the extremely immature, negative and abusive behavior of my supervisor. Even though the majority of the bullying was directed at my coworker, the consistently hostile environment and lack of support made me feel like I was on my own to deal with this and I became less professional and emotionally fragile. By quitting my job, I committed financial and professional suicide to save my mental and physical health and my relationship. I believe bullies' immaturity, insecurity and an inability to value anything beyond themselves is deep-rooted. In my case, I believe my former supervisor, a former friend, needs serious professional help. I don't believe it is any school's or workplace's responsibility to correct the problems within these individuals or groups, but, the health and safety of the rest should be supported with educational programs and strong policies and laws, even posted, like current anti-smoking signage seen in building entrances.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  83. arthur rosemond

    My son endured bullying and nonresponsive teachers and admin for years. Now he is a 14 year old 180 lb lineman, A and B student athlete that does not have those problems anymore.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  84. mary martini

    There is something we can do about bullying..1 verbal warning, 2 written warnings and then kick the bullies out of school. Also, withhold scholarships to those with more than 3 offenses.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  85. Del Cagle

    Bullying is assault, and should be treated as such, consequences should be swift, and uniform for everyone no exceptions.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  86. Segui

    It’s unfortunate that we live in a society where kids can be just as cruel as your common criminal. One would think that at their age; where can they be picking up these bad habits? The answer is; at home. Many may disagree but reality is that the type of music these kids listen to, the blood and gut movies they watch or the cruel violent video games they play can influence them in many ways. It’s a proven fact that these can be a teaching tool to all children that use them. Can we say that a bully has respect for his/her household? There are signs that these kids show and one of them is written in the Bible when it states that they will be “disobedient to parents” (Romans 1:30). When society was closer to Bible teachings we did not see the things that we are witnessing today. This is why parents have been given a job; “And these words that I am commanding you today must prove to be on your heart; and you must inculcate them in your son and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7).

    If society would listen to Bible teachings then we would live under better conditions. “I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit [yourself], the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk. O if only you would actually pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea” (Isaiah 48:17, 18). There are a lot of parents that do not teach their kids morals. Holding the door for the elderly or saying “thank you” is becoming a thing of the past. This is why the education starts at home, not in school. Remember we as adults need to study these signs and act before it flourishes into a “bully”. These kids are the future of this country. Now; the question is, which path are we guiding them?

    April 1, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  87. Dee

    After vowing for years that I would never attempt homeschooling, I actually have started homeschooling this year because my children were being bullied by teachers and the principle. My children came home from school everyday stressed and angry. They took hours to decompress. The teachers are trying to meet too many quotas of academic achievements, that they have forgotten that not all children learn the same way. I have seen such an improvement in academics AND behaviors since homeschooling. I know that everyone can not homeschool, but I had to save my children and this was an avenue presented to me.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  88. Ruth Peterson

    Bullies are the product of over-reaction by Social Services to those cases of "alleged" child abuse, which created laws that keeps good parents from disciplining their children, when the children do wrong.

    I hear people talk about taking back the country, well in my opinion, they should take back the discipline of their own children or face the possibility that their child may one day face a dire future consequence for their own actions resulting from being out of control.

    I believe in paddlings and spankings as long as it is done out of love and with self control.

    One does not have to repeatedly hit a child to get the idea across.

    After about age two or two and a half, if I detected signs of agressive behavior, I gave my children two verbal warnings. If the behavior continued then they would recive one or two sound swats on the bottom, to get their attention, so thet I could make them believe that aggresive behavior would not be tolerated nor accepted.

    My brother decided to bully a chubby child once, and only once, by kicking the child . I told grannie, she made my brother take off his dirty gym socks, she told him to put the dirty toes of the socks into his mouth, and made him sit with those nasty socks in his mouth for 5 whole minutes, while the other 6 of us watched the whole process.
    He never bullied anyone again.

    My son, at age 14, bullied his 11 year old sister, by calling her a dirty name then he slapped her. I do not know where he picked this up, it was never done to me and he never saw it done in our home.

    At only 98 pounds and 5 feet , two inches tall, I was smaller than my son, and a woman to boot, but I made him put up his fists to fight me. He got whacked in the mouth one time, and never called his sister that word again.
    He learned to not be a bully, and also not to abuse a female.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  89. Veronica

    I have talked to my daughter about respect, which is really what it comes down to. Respect and to treat others as you would like to be treated. We as parents need to take responsibility and have constant talks about what is going on at school. I am outraged that the community is asking for the resignation of the Principal and Superintendent, but what about the kids who did the bullying and the parents who were not aware of it. Is suspension or expulsion enough? No, I think they need to be brought to justice. Parents sometimes forget that home is where the true values have to be taught, this should not be left to teachers or principals.

    April 1, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  90. Duane

    I would stress to my son that bullying is wrong and you should treat everyone with respect. I will teach him to defend for himself and to also let an adult know if he does get bullied. Tell him that he can talk with me about anything and advise him on what he did wrong, what could happened and what he should do if something like this happens at his school.

    I think even if the kids were suspended that the bullying would have continued. We're in an era where kids have no fear of doing anything wrong, some just don't care and some don't have the parents to teach them right or wrong.

    I wish the mother would have taken the text message threats to the police, probably could have made arrests and alerted school officials.

    On another note, with class sizes increasing and teacher/student ratio getting worse it will be even harder for teachers/administrators to watch over kids. It sucks but these cases are lessons learned and we have to use it as learning tool to educate school officials/teachers/parents on how to deal with these situations. It's easy for anyone to formulate questions after something drastic happens (i.e. why didn't we do this, that etc).

    April 1, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  91. Edward Racker

    Tony,

    In our society, we seem to either ignore problems or treat the symptom! Teachers are responsible for education; parents are responsible for behavior and character and it seems to me that parents are abdicating their parental responsibilities to the teacher!

    Fifty or so years ago when I was in school, one note sent home from my teacher or the vice principal or principal would have been all that was necessary to correct any misbehavior on my part.

    If a student misbehaves, that student should be sent home with a note from the school detailing the misbehavior. The school should immediately send a follow up certified letter to the parents, detailing the student’s misbehavior and what is required for the student’s return to school and the student should not be allowed back to school until the parent signs off that corrective action has been completed!

    Addressing student behavior is that simple; report the problem to the parents, tell the parents what corrective action/behavior is required and allow the student back to school when the parent confirms that the behavior has been corrected!

    Thanks for the opportunity to share my view,

    Ed

    April 1, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  92. brett

    I agree Bullying is assault and anyone involved should be charged! I also suggest that they charge any school officials since they are the one's paid to watch the children in their schools instead of sitting in the staff lounge! What happens in or at school is their responsibility till schools out!

    April 1, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  93. Geno

    Here's an concept worth entertaining.... It's sad to think that we would have to result to these alternatives to conventinal crime protection but, desperate times require desperate measures. How about subsidizing students celluar services someway to promote positive behavior. It's would be an eyeopener to see what a youth would do for their handheld... geno

    April 1, 2010 at 11:59 am |
  94. Tom, Oakland

    I was severely bullied for 6-8 years throughout junior high and high school. My parents were aware. They rationalized it to me that for alot of the bullies, high school was the biggest and best time in their lives. Also, they told me that the bullying would stop after high school. (which it did) After several years of therapy, as an adult, I am finally ok, more or less, with/about what happened to me. Today, I think it is the school districts responsibility to inform students that bullying is assault (and/ or battery) and can be legally procecuted. Until the school district, from upper management to the classroom, are held legally accountable regarding their responsibility for protecting the children under their supervision, bulliying will continue.

    April 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  95. Keasha

    I don't have children yet but if I do have children in the future I would tell them that "sticks and stones may break my bones but mean words can kill me"

    April 1, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  96. kay

    This is with regards to recent bullying case in Mass. and more,
    We should not go after principals, superintendents or students who bully. We should go after the producers, directors and TV stations who make and air all these violent and amoral cartoons, films, programs, and video games. It is totally out of control.
    Furthermore, I believe that this issue (above) plays a big role in our weakening economy (crises) and social problems.

    There must be a committee or an organization out there to regulate the content of these movies, cartoons, programs, and video games for kids and teens. Also, to control the TV stations (e.g. not to show R rated commercials in the middle of G rated program).

    Otherwise, we should expect more of these incidents and worse.

    April 1, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
  97. Bryan

    What do parents say to their kids? That's a part of the problem, Kyra. You don't have to go through college to be a parent. Yet the laws that govern what school administrators can do puts nearly all power in the hands of parents. I agree that parents need to be involved in deciding how schools should treat students. But have some faith in your school's administrators!

    Another thing that could help is if psychologists could come and assess the social issues among children. I have a college professor who's explained that he was able to bring rival school-yard gangs together in an underfunded inner-city school, resulting in significantly higher state testing scores.

    Schools may not be able to afford the salary of a doctorate-level psychologist. But he does this for his research, thus charges nothing for it.

    April 1, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  98. brett

    It is not from movies or tv or video games!!! It is a learned behavior usually from the parents either they just don't keep tabs on their children or the parents were bullyies when they were in school when they were young!! The parents of these children should be held accountable for the bullying to!!

    April 1, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  99. Michael

    Bullies are part of life. Everyone gets some sort of it from peers or even parents forcing them to do things they do not want to.

    When I was younger I remember a new guy coming to HS. He was a football type and he started to pick on the one of the geeks. He was pulled aside by one of the other jocks very quickly. You see the geeks were tired of the bullying. They all became black belts. There was not bullying in our school the geeks did not allow it.

    As a parent you need to see what is going on in your kids life. If they are being bullied either you can talk the bullies parents and make it worse or you can give your child self esteem and the ability to defend themselves. The easiest way to stop a bully is to bully them.

    April 1, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  100. Magneto

    The only difference between when we adults were in school ourselves and the kids in school today is that there's more media attention being focused on the situations that go on. I'm sure in our day there were cases of children driven to suicide, it's simply that no one outside the immediate family and community heard about it, where now it's broadcast all over the country. As I said before, bullying is simply part of what happens in schools and it always has been. I know because I was taunted and teased all the while I was in elementary school. It was rough, I remember many occasions coming home crying. But eventually I learned to ignore it. That's what you should do if you are a victim. Bullies do it because they want to see you upset, they want attention. Don't give them the satisfaction.

    April 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  101. Curt

    The first step is schools need to get rid of the term "bullying" and replace it with "harassment." Bullying is an outdated term and does not carry the same legal consequences as "harassment" does. A kid that is a victim of harassment for instance has greater legal recourse than one that is a victim of "bullying. The Business world has zero tolerance for harassment in the work place and so should our schools. Schools should start to replace the term "bullying" with "harassment" immediately, at all levels, including policy manuals, educational materials, code of conduct references, etc.

    April 1, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  102. gigithebartender

    We live in Stone Mountain Ga. and just found out yesterday about 5 track athletes assaulting another student. After practice a few weeks ago, they lifted him up in the air, removed his clothing, touched him inappropriately, and stuffed him in a locker. No letters were written to parents, no info on what disciplinary action was taken (I bet they are still walking the halls),nothing. They only display a very protective, secretive, and defensive attitude similar to the on displayed by the Principal and Superintendant interviewied by Ms. Cho. Instead of being proactive, saying we don't tolerate this behavior, explaining the punishment, absolutely nothing was said. It frightens me to send our child to this school.

    April 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  103. Lisa

    My children ages 30 and 15 with special needs understand bullying very well having been the victims of it verbally, emotionally & physically while teachers, PTA, classmates & district administrators cast a cold blind eye to all of it. We as a society must demand accountability under the mandatory reporter laws that exist. You as a parent must press charges and make the police and D.A.'s charge under present statutes or nothing will ever change. They will all continue with thier arrogant above the law attitudes aiding and abetting these little criminal thugs until they are thrown in jail and sued. They should also lose thier state and federal funding. My taxes don't pay for my children to be abused at school, how about you?

    April 1, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  104. Gordon McElwain

    For starters...parents should be preaching the GOLDEN RULE at home and should be repeated in schools. Nothing "religious" about that.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  105. Carl

    Tell the teachers. Then the Pricipal. If it continues file a police report.

    April 2, 2010 at 6:46 am |
  106. Terry

    I am a retired teacher with 25 years experience in middle school.
    You HAVE to ask yourself about the parents of these students who are the bullies. What kind of home environments would result in this kind of behaviour.

    April 2, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  107. Buddy Dearborn

    Hay guys,and gals,,, Bullying begins at home with those parents who don't have good parenting skills,,who where bullied by there parents when they where growing up,,Now look at this ,,there is no more corporal punishment in the schools, teachers are afraid that they will be sued by parents for doing what the parents need to do at home,,,when I was growing up,,if you where sent to the principals office because you where disruptive in any way,,,you got a swat with a big oak paddle ,,,with holes drill in it ,,and things changed real fast,,,,, we live in the USA and our children are not the smartest in the world???? whats that about ?? they are obese ,,,and out of shape ,,,whats really going on ???HUH???

    April 2, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  108. Rudy Guerra

    I have two boys – 4 and 6 and I hope they will not be bully because I will do everything in my power to defend them. This is the problem with bulling: The fault is with the following people:

    The parents:
    The parents of the bullies do not teach their children(teenagers) that they have to respect other people therefore these future criminals victimize other kids.

    The parents of the victims.
    These parents do not have enough time to prepare their children against bullies or keep their mouths shut until their kids are victims. Do something! Go to school and complain to the principal, send certified letter to school's principal after the meetings just in case your child gets hurt then you have something in writing to fight the school's
    public mouth relation guy or their scumbag attorneys representing the school.

    To the teachers and principals
    If the school is not doing anything to help your child, you as the parent can still do something and you have to be creative.
    Use the internet to denounce the school.
    Go to the school grounds with a sign saying That bullies are here, You might get in trouble with the law but at the same time you will bring attention to this issue.
    Find out who the parents of the bullies are and bring them to court for any mental damages done to your child. Again this will bring attenction to the issue.

    Find out real state web sites that claim nice school around their properties. Denounce these school as nests of bullies.This will attention to the issue of bullies. here we are talking capitalism and taxes, may be politicos will do something

    Well I can go on and on but My kids do not have this problem yet.

    To all the the shrinks and the the school's shrink.
    Stop justifying the bully or bullies with therapy. I know that the less disipline we have in this society the more work you have. What we need in this country is the dicipline from the 1950's but the shrinks will never go for it. Stop saying that bulling is part of growing up

    By the way I have nothing against the shrinks. I just believe in respect for people and good discipline

    April 2, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  109. Monica

    My son knows (finally after almost 15 yrs) that I will assist him with working through a situation. I had to take his school to court because they refused to help. They ended up labeling my child as bad, I was called a bad and abusive parent in court, CPS was sent to my house and daughter's school (5 yr old at the time), staff members claimed to be afraid of me and my child.... I filed complaints with the state office of civil rights for education. I told the parents in the neighborhood that I would get the police involved and actually ended up pulling him out of school. We're in Federal court now awaiting trial. The sad part is my son is a high functioning child on the spectrum. Parents need to get involved and stand by their children. It became ugly for me but worth it to show my son that I was a support network for him.

    April 2, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  110. MiaP

    The schools can't do it all. Parents need to take greater responsibility in teaching their children to be self-confident. There are things parents can do to boost and build their child's self-esteem and self worth. I was a skinny kid in school and I was called mean names and someone even left a mean message on my answering machine, but my parents had instilled in me a sense of self-worth. They taught me how to combat mean names and acts by doing things that had constructed my self-esteem. I also had a strong faith in God which again was a credit to my parents.
    The schools can not do everything and I think that while interventions can take place, all the burden should not rests on the shoulders of schools and administrators. The Internet is to blame, social networks are also to blame. The school can not be solely accountable.

    April 2, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  111. Memphis Hearts

    What happen to Phoebe is tragic! My heart goes out to the family! I have a 10yo son and he has been bullied, called gay, hit, shoved, slapped and the teachers and principals are not doing much about it. They tell him to stay away from the bully but why does he need to be the one to take action...why does the victimizer continue to do what they do to the kids! No one seems to be talking about counseling for the bullier...everyone seems to focus on the children that are the victims and what they should say and do....that's not right! Wake up teachers and administers our kids need your help while they are under your care. I don't send my child to school to be victimized. I love my son and I show and tell him how much I love him everyday! He communicates with me but there will come a point where he will think I am not doing enough because teachers and principles are not doing there part while I am at work! I don't want to shelter my child but enough is enough and before something terrible happens ...pulled him out and I'm homeschooling him. No one needs to suffer a tradegy like the latest victims and my hurt aches for all the families that think they have to suffer and weather the storm! It's just not right!

    Often, the parents' of the bullier/victimizer does not believe there child is a bully...and that's part of the problem as well!

    April 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  112. Ruth Peterson

    When I was being bullied in the 1950's, there was NO internet to blame, we had no television in 1951.

    Teachers were allowed to paddle misbehaving students, and parents were allowed to spank.

    My brother's bully couldn't find my brother one day so he came after me.
    He was three times my size, he was obese, and I was a skinny 8 year old girl.
    So, he called out to me, I went over to him to see what he wanted, and without any warning at all, he slapped me across my face, and told me to give it to my brother.

    About three weeks later, I was waiting for him in the alley behind a hedge, with my mom's broom.
    As he came by, I whacked him across both shins with the broom handle, then as he went down, and WAS down, I worked him over with the broom handle.
    He never bothered us again.
    A surprise calls for a surprise.

    April 5, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  113. Ruth Peterson

    P.S.
    In Missouri Statute, it is illegal to bully another child.
    I am hoping it is the same everywhere in the U.S.

    If the same bully keeps after a victim it is considered stalking....illegal.
    Hitting is called assault....again...illegal,
    Name calling is battery....illegal.
    Our RSMo has dealt with the bullying problem, but there are too many parents out there who do not know that their child does have recourse.

    A police report can be filded and it can actually go to court. Parents of the bully can be held accountable, if the bully is under 17 years old, otherwise the bully can be punished.

    If your child is being bullied, and school officials will not stop it, go to the legal system, and forget the school officials.

    The school IS definately held responsible, and because they do not want to face charges....they will put the blame on the victim.
    It happenbed to my grandson. Before the Missouri law went into effect.

    Everything that can be considered cruel happened to him, and he was placed in an alternative school.

    I actually had to buy another home in another district to save him from the school board.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
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