Would you know if your child was being bullied?
Posted November 18, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — 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 They may be withdrawn.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.
“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.