Mississippi and Alabama in the top-10 most bullied states

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Miss. (WTOK) - Bullying in a common issue across the country, but according to a new study by Backgroundchecks.org, it is especially prevalent in Mississippi and Alabama schools.

“Safety is our number 1 priority, we want our students and staff to feel safe and secure at school, and we don’t want them to be under any threat whatsoever,” says Ed Mosley, the assistant superintendent for the Lauderdale County School District.

We talked to Mosley about what is done to combat bullying. Students and staff undergo training, and the district organizes several programs throughout the year that focus on bullying prevention.

“Red ribbon week, we do posters and stuff, and try to tell people what bullying is, and of course, if a bully might have been bullied themselves, we try to address all the problems,” Mosley explains.

Cyber bullying is another issue that affects schools across the country.

“If [cyber bullying] comes to our attention, we try to track it down and we address that as well,” Mosley says. “Because if you do things out of school, if it causes problems within the school, we can address it. So we don’t want anybody undergoing cyber bullying or any other type bullying, we address it all.”

Students are encouraged to talk to faculty and staff if they are victims of bullying.

“Don’t be afraid, if there’s something that’s wrong, report it; report it to a teacher or an adult, we have counselors and they can talk with principals, and we have police officers on our campus, it’s whoever they feel comfortable in communicating with, those are the people that we want them to talk to,” says Mosley.

According to the Backgroundchecks.org study, the most bullied state in the United States is Louisiana and the least bullied state is North Dakota. Mississippi ranks the 6th most bullied and Alabama is the 9th most bullied.