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READERS WEIGH IN ON BATTLE AGAINST BULLIES

Q:The letter from "Hurt in Ohio," the 13-year-old girl who is being bullied, was deeply affecting. I have been a middle school teacher for 10 years. I have seen what bullying can do to kids. I'm proud that "Hurt" told her parents, but because that hasn't helped her, please tell her to find an adult at school whom she trusts and tell that adult what is happening. If she hasn't gotten a response within 24 hours, she should go to another adult, and another until someone listens.

Ignoring the problem does not make it go away; it only makes it worse.

Middle School Teacher in Indiana

A: I advised "Hurt" to have her parents accompany her to discuss the situation with her counselor and the principal. However, it has been pointed out that being the victim of bullying sometimes happens to multiple generations in families in which the parents are passive and unable to teach their children to be assertive.

Fortunately, more help is available. Read on:

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Please tell your readers that our federal government is concerned about bullying, because bullying increases school absenteeism and dropout rates and can cause significant, long-lasting difficulties for victims.

As part of its antibullying campaign, the Health Resource Services Administration has an informative and user-friendly Web site: www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov. This site has sections for parents, educators and students.

Pediatric Chaplain, Arlington, Texas

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Allow me to suggest to "Hurt in Ohio," or anyone concerned about bullying in schools, a Web site called www.safeschools.com.

Ann in Farmington, N.M.

"Hurt in Ohio" mentioned that her friends won't stand up for her because they "like" the jocks who are tormenting her. Well, those kids are not her "friends." They are enablers. Bullies love an audience, and silence indicates approval.

The answer is to teach students that not only schools, but they themselves should have zero tolerance for abusers.

Henry in Lithicum, Md.

Universal Press Syndicate

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