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Bullying in Our Schools: What's Your Experience?

The Lincoln-Way High School board got a brief update about what the schools are doing to combat bullying, but the most important thing is for students and parents to report it. If your children have been bullied, share the experience and tell us the effec

Let's talk about bullying in schools.

It can be tricky, because if it doesn't get reported there's often nothing the people in charge can do about it. Enter cyberbullying, where some parents might not even have access to know what's being said about their children.

That's why it's important for the schools here to be proactive, said Michele Newswander, director of Pupil Personnel Services at . She spoke to the Lincoln-Way High School District 210 board last week to give a brief update on what the schools are doing.

"It's changed a lot in the last 5, 10, 15 years," she said of bullying pointing directly to cyberbullying. "They can post something immediately without having any thought to the impact it can have."

She said it's important for school districts to provide opportunities for education and outreach so students feel comfortable. Many of those are things District 210 already does, Newswander said, including staff development, the Asset Program and peer mentoring.

"We all need to be involved," she said.

At a special meeting in January, the Lincoln-Way school board discussed its policy for bullying to determine whether it adequately addressed cyberbullying. Board member Christine Glatz asked that it be put on the agenda.

"I know it’s happening and it happens online moreso than not unfortunately," Glatz said. "Some parents some don’t have access to see what’s going on."

Supt. Larry Wyllie said the most important thing a student or parent can do is escalate the problem to a school officer or principal. Specific guidelines for reporting bullying are explained in the district's student-parent handbook.

"The difficulty with that is a lot of students and parents in the schools are afraid of retaliation," Wyllie said.

One parent echoed that concern during the forum. She said her daughter was bullied last year while participating in a sport. The male coach, who wasn't in the girls locker room, said "he didn't believe it was happening," according to the parent.

"I didn’t tell the building principal because I thought it would be to the detriment of my daugher," the parent said.

Your Experience

Have you faced this dilemma before? If your children have been bullied in school, how did you react and who did you tell? Let us know you experience in the comments below.

You can also read some of our past Moms Talk discussions on bullying:

Dana Albano February 27, 2012 at 03:16 AM
I watched the movie Cyberbully with my 8 year old daughter and it really showed what this can do to kids and the emotional toll it can take on them. It helped teach my daughter a good lesson about what to do in a situation like that. I am sorry for all of those that have been a victim of bullying. Hopefully some new laws and rules will be enforced to stop it.
JuliannaSmith February 27, 2012 at 10:39 AM
Bullying is a serious problem affecting millions of children. It can interfere with their social and emotional development, as well as their school performance. Approximately 15,000 children attempt to commit suicide every year as a direct result of being bullied. I was reading this blog on anationofmoms and found an article that spoke of a service to protect my family. It said that if I followed the service on twitter, I would enter the drawing for 6 months free of service. Check out the article: http://anationofmoms.com/2011/08/protect-your-family-giveaway.html
Concerned Citizen March 17, 2012 at 05:42 PM
All I can say is you MUST be persistant. If you don't get anywhere from the bottom feeders immediately go directly to the top and threaten a law suit and police involvement and it will get dealt with. Been there done that with Lincoln-Way East. There was no retaliation from anyone. Bullying MUST stop!
Concerned Citizen March 17, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Please inform your parents about what is going on. I know teenagers don't like telling their parents things, but this is very important. They must stand up for you. If they won't you need to go to the police officer located at your school. Even call Dr.Wylie yourself.
Lilly May 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM
The teachers don't know how to respond unless they're a dean. Go to your guidance counseler. I know they help.

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