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School bullying brings extended negative effects
Students being bullied at local schools is a big problem. One local counselor even told News 5 that suicide rates sky rocket when kids are getting bullied. But, that's not the only affect it has on students.
Tired of being bullied and pushed around at school, Toriah Post and Kira Middleton both decided to join a Taekwondo class.
"Taekwondo taught me how to brave and self-defense if I need it," said Kira Middleton.
"There was some kids picking on me at school and my dad was sick and tired of it so he stuck me in here so I can have self-confidence, build friendships with other people instead of with those bullies," said Toriah Post.
When it comes to being bullied, Mental Health Counselor Liesel Hogan says focus on your child, not the bully.
"Get your kids involved in social activities maybe Big Brothers Sisters or teammates program get them involved in volunteering, anything they can do to build up their child's self-esteem to make them more resilient to bullying," said Hogan.
Taekwondo is one of the few places where Kira and Toriah can escape bullying.
"A lot of the kids that I see have no escape from it, they don't have any sort of safe zone," said Hogan.
As social media grows, we continue to see the good of the internet.
But, with the good comes the bad.
"Facebook - these kids have hundreds or thousands of friends, so whatever message they're sending out its going to all of those people," Hogan said.
"I get home and go on Facebook and it would just make me mad and I would go to sleep," said Middleton.
Keeping track of your children's internet use is important in keeping a close eye on bullying situations.
"I tell parents that if Facebook is an issue, shut down their Facebook page, if texting is an issue, block the cell phone number," said Hogan.
"Here's an I-Phone, how are you going to use it responsibly? Here's an I pad, what are you going to do and how are you going to use it for the betterment of you?" said Brooke O'Neil, Hastings Middle School.
Constant physical and verbal abuse can take its toll on students.
"My mom says that I'm starting to get aggressive toward her," said Post.
"They feel powerless, they feel they have no control over themselves so when they come home and they have a weaker sibling or they can safely get angry at mom or dad than they will do that cause a lot of that energy is getting pent up," Hogan said.
But, problems don't stop there. They stretch into the grade column.
"Their grades are lower cause they can't concentrate in class, they're fearful, they have fewer friends so self-esteem has a huge impact," said Hogan.
What would cause a child to bully someone around?
"If they don't have a lot of control at home, or their home life is poor or they are getting bullied at home by a parent or sibling some would call that abuse often times they will look for areas in their lives where they can control things and often times that comes out in terms of bullying or at school, or drugs," said Hogan.
Now, this is an ongoing problem and we want you to let us know about any bullying programs in your school to help prevent bullying.
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our KHAS facebook at http://www.facebook.com/khastv
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