(WTVM) - We hear it all too often, that bullying is an epidemic.
Whether it's happening on social media or at school, it's happening all across the country.
This scenario is all too common these days; many young people are victims of bullying.
"We want to make sure that our students come to school in an environment that's conducive to learning and that's safe," said Dr. Trikella Nelson, Director of Guidance Services for the Muscogee County School District. "We want to take away any barriers that prevent that from happening."
And that, she said, includes bullying.
"Every report is taken seriously and it is documented," Dr. Nelson said. "The information is gathered usually by the principal or principal-designee."
According to the district bullying is defined as "an act which occurs on school property, school related functions or by school computers...that is any intentional written, verbal, or physical act, which a reasonable person would perceive as being intended to threaten, harass, or intimidate."
"Typically what will happen to someone who is participating in bullying, being the aggressor, a parent-teacher conference is initiated as well as counseling at the school site and also it is notated within the student information system," said Dr. Nelson.
Dr. Nelson says each of the district's 64 schools has a safety plan that includes bullying prevention. She has these tips for parents to identify bullying.
- Communicate with your child about their day.
- Pay attention to signs like not wanting to go to school, being sick and a change in eating and sleeping habits.
- Stay involved with the school. Know what's going on in their classes.
Dr. Nelson says if you feel your child is being bullied at school, contact your child's principal, counselor or coach.
If it's happening outside the school, she suggests you call police to make a report.
The complete definition and policy on bullying can be found in the district's behavior and discipline handbook.