Newton Schools Addressing Bullying

By: Jessica Dealy Email
By: Jessica Dealy Email

Newton Middle School is taking Mississippi's new bullying policy seriously and for good reason. The young students are no strangers to all forms of bullying, be it physical, verbal or cyber.

"I think people always bully here," said Marquayva Smith, a 5th grader. "(They) Just don't do it around certain people or at certain times."

Newton Police Chief Harvey Curry called upon Lauderdale County Deputy Ricardo Clayton to address bullying in the school's first ever anti-bully seminar.

"Bullying exists everywhere," said Clayton. "And so for a lot of our young people, this will just give them ways to communicate it to administration and to know that they do not have to accept being bullied."

During the seminar, Clayton was able to find out where the students commonly see physical bullying.

"It's in the bathroom and sometimes in the classroom, when the teachers aren't looking," said 5th grader, Brandon Payne.

"Sometimes when you go to the bathroom, they do a lot of fighting when the teachers can't see," said 5th grader Jeremiah Morris. "I think then, if you don't do something about it, it gets worse. If you tell the teacher, sometimes it gets worse."

Tattling was the biggest concern brought up by the kids. Luckily, there are ways around that problem.

"There are more ways to communicate than just by verbal means," said Clayton. "They can leave letters or notes with the principal or teacher or tell a teacher where bullying takes place."

The U.S. Justice Department says one out of four children is bullied at some point. One out of five children admit to doing some kind of bullying. And there is no intervention in about 85 percent of cases.

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