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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  • by Brittnay Location: Rehobeth on Apr 3, 2010 at 08:14 PM
    My i just say that no matter what you do, as much as you try to change something, children and teenagers (such as my self) will always be cruel. saying something to teens or switching schools, or even homeschooling them, does not change a thing. they will still be bullied out side of school, over the internet, in real life. Teachers and the principals can say and do what ever they want but it will NEVER change a thing. children shouldn't run to there parents, they should try to deal with it themselves first then if that doesn't work, then go to someone. They do it to get a rise out of you, pretty soon kids wont be able to run to there parents and say fix this, fix that. they have to learn to do things on there own at some point.
  • by JW Location: Dothan on Apr 3, 2010 at 02:58 PM
    What are the parents of the bullies doing about these situations? Ulltimately, it is their responsibility to put a stop to their children's behavior. If it's getting so out of hand with certain students who won't quit bullying, suspend them. Make them an example to other children that this behavior is unacceptable. I personally would punish my child if they were bullying others, it's too bad there are so many sorry parents who don't give a crap enough to correct their children's behavior.
  • by sam Location: dothan on Apr 1, 2010 at 08:18 PM
    My child too has been a victim of bullying in our Dothan schoools. I have had to go to the school several times plus numerous phone calls to attempt to fix it. All that has been done is pull the kids in for a "talking" to. My child has been called "ugly" accused of being "gay". My child is not gay but even if it were true that talk is not appropriate. After the "talk" it has already been said again, 2 days after the talk. Some days she is so depressed and says she has no friends, other days are ok. I worry all the time about how this is affecting my child. The schools need to do more than "warn" and "talk" to these kids. Someone needs to be made an example of before something bad happens. How about these kids are punished before the victim hurts themselves?
  • by Teresa Location: Dothan on Apr 1, 2010 at 02:36 PM
    Someone tell this child to get home schooled instead. There are several church based programs. There is also a program called Ashworth University. This program is accredited. Telling the children to quit being mean just isn't going to work.
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