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Would you know if your child was being bullied?

Posted November 18, 2011

— Would you know if your child was being bullied? Would you know if your child was bullying someone else? Experts say there are telltale signs parents should look for in either case.

“I think this is one of the single most important issues facing parents and schools today,” said Renee Prillaman, chairwoman of Peaceful Schools North Carolina, an organization that helps young people deal with conflict.

Earlier this week, a 10-year old Columbus County girl committed suicide, apparently due to bullying. Jasmine McClain hanged herself with a belt in her bedroom Monday evening.

Police Chief Steven Shaw said he was about to close the case as a suicide when he started checking posts on Facebook and other social media about Jasmine and her death. Students were stating that she had been repeatedly bullied at school, he said.

Prillaman says there are several reasons why a student might be a bully. It could be a sign that they are exposed to stress or violence at home or have been picked on themselves.

“They desire to have power over something – someone younger, smaller, not as confident as they are,” she said.

Jeffrey Chambers, a psychiatrist in Durham, says there are just as many signs that a child is the victim of a bully. They may be withdrawn. Their play may get repetitive or violent. Chambers says it’s not only up to parents and teachers to make it better.

Renee Prillaman Would you know if your child was being bullied?

“If bullying is going on, there (are) a lot of people standing around watching it. What are they getting out of it?” he said. “Like most of the problems in this world, (bullying) is only getting bigger.”

Chambers says student bystanders need to be bold and stand up for others being cut down. Experts say the easiest way to find out if your child is being bullied is to talk with him or her. Still, some children may be too embarrassed to admit what they're going through.


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  • smalltownrockstar Nov 25, 2011

    I know from being bullied in school, it is just getting worse since i was in school 8 years ago. Alot of people blame the parents and some blame the kid. i know the ones that bullied me were from nice families, got lots of love and attention, and honestly had no reason to be mean. it damages a child to be bullied. the saddest time i have seen it lately was at the park with my son (3) one morning. a group of 10-12 yr olds were going around and pushing the kids down. no parents around. i guess me and my size helped because they didnt see me as a parent. i called the cops when they went after my son and held them down. i don't play when it comes to him and i made sure i called their parents while i waited on the cops. the cops were laughing so hard when they saw me. :D gotta love being from a small town, we don't play.

  • too1dah Nov 22, 2011

    School officials seem to be clueless or too preoccupied to acknowledge that there are other forms of bullying besides hitting and punching. Bullies are also engaging in passive aggressive shunning activities as well, and I think those actions can be just as damaging to a child's sense of self-worth. However, having a child shunned by peers under the threat of violence goes unaccounted for because most children just follow suit to keep heat off of themselves and no one gets hurt. So technically, the bullies haven't done anything wrong. But is this really true? Perhaps this is why the school in Columbus Co. can't find witnesses. I hope this is explored and EXPOSED further along. When this happened my 9 year old at a Wilson Co. School last year, I complained & simply told things like "kids at this age can be mean" or "I'm sure that there is another explanation. While my child was pulled out of that school system, I can't help but wonder who will stand by the children in a similar situatio

  • 82d Airborne Nov 21, 2011

    Allow them to bully in schools and the next step is easier since they will be bullies in society, then we ask our police to handle them before they hurt someone worse and it usually comes to just that, someone gets hurt worse because no one did anything about a wasted life...

  • kermit60 Nov 21, 2011

    All the laws that apply out of school still apply in school. Assault, Communicating a threat, Harassment, Extortion, Possibly stalking. The solution is simple dial 911 and report the crime. The school doesn't have the authority to overide this if the parents want it. Why do people think that it's not a crime because it happens at school. If these kids want o act like criminals then maybe they need to see what that gets them.

  • mramorak Nov 21, 2011

    The good ole USA is a big bully!It's do as i say and not as i do.

  • SueInNC Nov 18, 2011

    My neice was bullied and ended up changing schools. Her bullies (3 of them!) repeatedly left disgusting and threatening messages on her cell phone, called her names in school, and threatened and intimidated her in the halls of school. There were witnesses, so the school suspended them, but when they returned to school it only got worse. My niece was completely depressed as well as thoroughly terrified. My sister did the only thing she could - had her change schools. The unfortunate truth is that usually by the time bullying gets the bully in trouble, it's too late. Kids don't stand up for one another because they're afraid the bully will turn his/her focus onto them, as is often the case if someone does speak up. It's a terrible thing, and there are no clear answers. Once you're the target of a bully, the only (ONLY) thing that will get the target off your back is if the bully finds someone else to push around and torture. It's awful. My niece finished her last 3 years of HS.

  • 2gurlz2boyzMom Nov 18, 2011

    a 10yo..committing suicide? wow

  • LovemyPirates Nov 18, 2011

    This is a very good website for information about bullying. Included is information for parents.