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Letter: Don't ignore the signs of bullying

Published August 8, 2014 5:04 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Bullying has been in the news a lot lately, and as a mother of a young child, it's frightening to think about what could happen to my child because of the increase in bullying at our public schools.

I understand that schools cannot follow up every report of bullying, and that some kids will grow out of it, but research shows that 40 percent of the boys identified as bullies in grades six through nine had three or more arrests by the age of 30. We have to find a better way to help bullies in their youth.

Reports of bullying in public schools have skyrocketed in just the last year, but our response has not. Nationwide statistics from 2013 tell us six out of ten teenagers witness bullying in school once a day, but only 3 out of ten teenagers receive help in finding solutions on how to stop bullying. Why is it that our public schools are not taking greater action?

This year in Chicago a father of a five year old girl took out a restraining order on her classmate because of persistent verbal and physical abuse. In the report, her father saw the restraining order as his last resort after numerous complaints to the school and other child's family to take action. We encourage our children to be the best they can be, and then send them to school where their confidence gets crushed from consistently-ignored bullying. This is ridiculous.

I'm suggesting more severe repercussions for reports of bullying. I am also suggesting we demand public schools to step up and stop ignoring signs/reports of bullying in our public schools. We cannot become complacent on this issue.

Kayla Contreras

Orem