Recently I saw another story on the local news about a teenager committing suicide because of bullying.

Unbelievable! Isn’t the school supposed to be watching what’s going on with these kids?

And just last week there was another story about a Dad who had enough of kids bullying his crippled daughter. He actually got on the bus and threatened the bullies.  Kids bullying a cripple, can you believe that?

I mean, how low can you sink when you feel the need to pick on someone that’s sitting in a wheelchair?

As a parent I’m not sure what to think of that.  Didn’t the other kids see what was going on and say something? The sad fact is that nowadays kids are too afraid of what the others kids will think of them to even get involved. After all they don’t to become the next victim.

My first reaction to hearing about the Dad who confronted the bullies on the bus was that of support. Then as I thought about it more I said to myself he should have went to the principal of the school and the bus company first before taking matters into his own hands.  The problem was that he did. He contacted the principal not once, but several times in an effort to get help for his daughter. Nothing was done and the problem continued.

It would be easy for us to just blame the school officials but I’m sure that would not solve the problem. The truth of the matter is that we need to educate our kids about bullying. Yes, even the bullies need to be taught more about the damage that they are doing to others and how really wrong it is.  Most times the damage goes much deeper than what we see on the news. Children are actually afraid to go to school because of what happens to them while they are there. Instead of a fun learning experience many of our children are subject to verbal abuse and intimidation to the point that it starts to affect their grades and emotional stability.

The atmosphere in our schools needs to be changed. When a child is exposed to bullying in school their ability to learn and trust in their teachers’ is dramatically reduced. Solid evidence from national research has shown that students will learn more, and be physically and emotionally healthier, when nurtured in positive a social environment.

Now when I refer to “The School atmosphere” I’m talking about the unique social character of school as perceived by students. After all if the students do not feel they are in a safe environment they can’t concentrate on their studies and achieve their potential.

So what can we do? As parents we need to make sure the lines of communication are open and that our children feel that they can talk to us about anything. Teach your kids that if anyone is bothering them at school that they can and should immediately let you know.

Secondly, as a parent you need to learn everything that you can about bullying. The better Kids Institute is here to provide you with valuable insight that you can use to help protect your kids. Learn to recognize the telltale signs of bullying and talk to them about it.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You say that to your kids and sometimes as parents we need help too.