Bullying in Schools Still a Problem

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

Bullying continues to be a problem in school systems across the country.

Just this week, nine students in Massachusetts were indicted after a 15-year-old girl took her own life after months of torment.

News 4's sat down with local victim Thursday to discuss the issue and what can be done to bring it to and end.

The dictionary describes a bully as a person who is habitually cruel or overbearing.

Unfortunately, these people can thrive in a school setting, making life difficult not only for the victim, but for family members, teachers, and school administrators.

The victim in this report requested they not be identified for fear of further harassment.

“They're saying I’m pregnant, that I’m bisexual, that I’m a whore, that I sleep with everybody, that I have sex in school,” said the victim.

It’s been an ongoing problem that's been hurting this victim for years.

“I had a real bad breakdown because everybody kept messing with me during math class and I was sitting in the assistant principal’s office and I just started crying,”

And that hurt is widespread.

“Well it's rough because you really don't know how to help her, and she's upset and it makes it hard on the family. I feel helpless,” said the victim’s relative.

School officials say they try to teach students about bullying at an early age.

“We try to make sure that we educate our kids and we try to let them know it's not proper behavior and we are not going to tolerate it. It's a human behavior, one that's not acceptable,” said Dr. Sam Nichols, superintendent of the Dothan City School System.

School officials say to put a stop to the harassment, communication is key.

“We ask our kids to go to the teacher and say ‘hey so and so is doing this to me’ and we try to jump on it real quick,” said Scott Beumer, Principal at Webb Elementary School.

But this wiregrass family says they're out of ideas on how to make the teasing stop.

“She doesn't want to go to school and I can certainly understand that. I feel that she has a right as much as right as any other kid that goes up there, to get a good education and not get harassed,”

The U.S. Department of Justice has a manual available to parents on how to handle bullying in schools.

Visit www.cops.usdoj.gov to obtain that manual or call 800-421-6770.

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