BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) - Since 2006, October has been recognized as National Bullying Prevention Month, a time to consider the effects on children.
A NewsChannel 21 social media post brought a number of responses from concerned parents.
Kelsey Shane has a daughter at Crook County Middle School. Kelsey said: “… One of the siblings came back and started throwing soccer balls and hit her best friend in the knee, and then took my daughter and chased her down and pushed her into a fence, which that caused her elbow to get cut up.”
The Crook County School District tells us reports of bullying are handled individually and privately with parents and students.
Kelsey says ultimately, the students who bullied her daughter did receive a couple of days of in-school suspension.
Tara Brannan also responded to our post. Her son attends Gregory Middle School in Redmond. She said: “My kid, my oldest, he actually grew his hair out over the summer, and he was very proud of it, very excited to show his friends and everything at school, and when he went to school, that was the first thing that he was bullied for, and he actually, just a couple weeks ago, cut his hair due to the bullying."
Chris Wyland, principal of M.A. Lynch Elementary School in Redmond, says prevention begins with teaching students what it means: “Bullying is being defined as something that was rude or mean, and it continues to happen.”
Principal Wyland also says students can be reprimanded for their actions but the consequences of suspension are considered: “When we consider the idea of suspension, and I can only speak specifically to elementary, you know, when we think about a 5- through a 10-year-old not being at school for the day, that's really destructive to their learning process -- and not only as a student, but also emotionally.”
According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, bullying can be verbal and physical or happen digitally through email, texts, or social media. They have compiled a list of helpful resources for parents, children and educators for confronting the issue.