Expert gives advice on preventing bullying

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– October is national bullying prevention month. Statistics show that bullying is a problem that is wildly under-reported.

Bullying can have long term effects and in some instances have been a contributor to teenage suicide. Statistics show about one quarter of kids report being bullied and it’s not just happening in the hallways at school or on the bus, but a growing number of kids are reporting being a victim of cyber bullying. That’s because experts say the aggressors feel protected by anonymity.

There are a couple of things that are good diffusers. One, The Yale Study Center’s Dr. Carol Weitzman says effective school programs can cut down bullying by 25 percent. But a big help is when another peer sees it and tries to stop it.

“More than half off bullying situations actually come to a close when a peer speaks to the person who has been bullied or reports it. So, the input of peers and bystanders is very important,” said Weitzman.

So here are the warning signs. There can be problems if your child doesn’t want to go to school. If there are physical ailments like headaches, stomach aches. Also, depression and anxiety are symptoms. As well as if they’re having trouble concentrating.

Even if they don’t show these symptoms, Dr. Weitzman also says it’s a good idea just to check in with your kid about it.  Just in case.

Dr .Weitzman says out of the kids who are victims of this an alarming 64 percent do not report it.

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