Better East Texas: Bullying's catastrophic effects

(KLTV) - Hardly a week goes by that we don't hear about the catastrophic effects of bullying in our schools.  Sometimes it results in someone taking their own life, other times they snap and take the lives of others. But while those stories grab headlines, there are large numbers of bullying incidents that go unreported. These can have life-long impact on victims and the result is broken families, a road to mental illness, drug abuse and other destructive outcomes.

Every school district has a policy against bullying and a procedure for victims to come forward in a safe way. That policy covers districts legally, but bullying still exists. In fact, recent studies show that roughly 1 in 4 students have been bullied and 30 percent of all students admit to bullying in some way. So, to sum those two statistics together – more than half of all students are bullying or on the receiving end of bullying.

School district policies alone are not working. School districts, principals and teachers must attack this problem before more lives are affected.  We shouldn't accept that greater than 50% of our students are impacted by bullying. Specific procedures and on-going practices of monitoring social media, the introduction of cameras or other monitoring systems in areas of campuses that are prone to bullying are needed.  Just like schools have disaster drills and lock down procedures, they should also have a bullying prevention plan that has action every day.

This is an epidemic that needs to be arrested and that will make for a Better East Texas.

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