GREENSBORO, N.C.-- Say the word bullying to anyone and you get many emotional reactions.
Almost everyone has an opinion about the topic, especially when it involves their child.
They say to prevent something you should start teaching lessons early. That's what WFMY News 2 and Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools aim to do in a campaign called '2 Stop Bullying.'
According to a YouthTruth report released in September 2018, a third of students say they were bullied last school year. That’s an increase from two years ago, when just over one in four students said they were bullied.
The survey was based on responses from more than 160,000 secondary students in 27 states. YouthTruth is hoping the results will be the catalyst for teachers and school districts to take bullying seriously and work with students to put an end to harmful behaviors. YouthTruth is a non-profit organization.
Each Tuesday through the month of October, which is National Bullying Prevention Month, members of the Good Morning Show will visit an elementary school in Forsyth County and talk to students and school staff about bullying. Some of the staff will share personal stories.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is defined by the federal government on the Stop Bullying website as "An aggressive or unwanted behavior used again and again, to isolate, harm or control another person.”
According to stopbullying.gov, Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.
The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are:
Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter
SMS (Short Message Service) also known as Text Message sent through devices
Instant Message (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features)
The Impact of Bullying
The impact of bullying can be far-reaching.
Youth and teens who are bullied can get physical injuries, experience social and emotional distress, inflict self-harm and can even die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It increases their risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement and dropping out of school.
Kids who bully are at increased risk for substance use, academic problems and violence later in adolescence and adulthood, the agency said.
Students at the greatest risk for mental and behavioral problems, though, are those who bully others and are bullied themselves.