School Districts Say Bullying Not Tolerated

Lauderdale County, Miss. Bullying is also a growing concern that affects and adults and children. Over the weekend a professional football player with the Miami Dolphins was even suspended from the team for allegations that he bullied a teammate.

Officials with both Meridian and Lauderdale County school districts say it's an issue they take very seriously.

"We do not tolerate bullying," said Meridian superintendent, Dr. Alvin Taylor. "The thing that I encourage parents and students to do is to come forward and disclose bullying to the teachers and the principals."

"It could be physical or psychological, we don't put up with it," said Lauderdale County Schools assistant superintendent, Ed Mosley. "If we have an incident of bullying it is to be reported to the nearest adult, the principal or whomever within five days, if you are aware of bullying going on within the school."

New statistics show that in the U.S., one out of every four children is bullied on a regular basis. One of the fastest growing types of bullying is cyberbullying. It and the more traditional types are things that both school districts say they are addressing.

Meridian and Lauderdale County schools say that all reports of bullying are thoroughly investigated.

"In order to have consequences for a student for bullying we have to be able to prove it," said Meridian superintendent, Dr. Alvin Taylor. "Somebody just can't come forward and say, 'Johnny is bullying me'. We have to have evidence that Johnny is bullying them. Otherwise, Johnny may be getting consequences and Johnny may not have been bullying that person."

"The policy really calls for if you have any witnesses for them to come forward," Mosley said. "But if it's a situation where they're afraid to come forward they can do it anonymously and let us know, and we'll look into it and investigate it from there."

Students who report bullying within the Meridian Public School District may also remain anonymous.

Statistics from the Ambassadors 4 Kids Club indicate that one out of every seven students in kindergarten through 12th grade are either a victim of bullying or a bully. They also reveal that 77% of students are bullied mentally, verbally, or physically.

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