Program fights back-to-school bullying - KMSP-TV

Program fights back-to-school bullying

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

As kids get ready to go back to school, for some it can mean back to bullying. A new anti-bullying program wants to make sure kids know what to do to make it stop.

It's estimated for about 10% of all kids, bullying is a brutal reality.

"The definition of bullying has three components. The first is aggressive or hostile behavior with the intent to do harm. The behavior is repetitive and there is a power balance, whether real or perceived."

Dr. Marlene Seltzer has developed an anti-bullying program at Beaumont Hospital called NoBLE (No bully, live empowered). She says now is the time to empower kids; explaining that victims and witnesses of bullying need to tell an adult.

"Schools now have to have a policy in place to deal with bullying and part of that is a person who promotes the policy and encourages kids to talk to them. The policy also includes notifying the parents of both the victim and the perpetrator, so the school is obligated to be involved," said Seltzer.

"When I was bullied, there was one day that just all broke free, and I told somebody and it felt so much better," said one victim of school bullying.

Kids are getting the message across the country, schools are stepping up raising awareness and preaching respect and tolerance for others. But here's the problem: bullying has become a 24/7 phenomenon thanks to social media.

"Traditional bullying if you went home from school and there was a good home environment, that was a safe haven. With cyber bullying, it can occur 24/7. So somebody could go home from school and get 100 text messages or 1,000 emails saying really discouraging things about them, and they might not even know who the perpetrator is."

As bullying continues, so does the risk of suicide, depression and substance abuse.

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