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Bullying and teasing is at the top of kids’ issues at schools, and with school set to open in a few weeks, parents, teachers and school administrators should take caution and sensitivity in handling these issues.

Childhood should be a time filled with wonder and joy, but the reality for many kids and teens is often much different. They're the victims of bullying at school or on neighborhood playgrounds.

Kids who are intimidated, threatened, or harmed by bullies often experience low self-esteem and depression, whereas those doing the bullying may go on to engage in more serious antisocial behaviors. Some kids are so traumatized by being bullied, that they contemplate suicide. Bullies often have been the victims of bullying or other mistreatment themselves.

It has everyone worried. Not just the kids on its receiving end, but the parents, teachers and others who may not understand how extreme bullying can get. Love Our Children USA is working aggressively to prevent these issues and to help the kids and teens affected by it.

Ross Ellis, Love Our Children USA Founder and Chief Executive Officer remembers only too well what it is like to be bullied. Today it’s a regular occurrence in schools starting as early as kindergarten. And many kids have committed suicide because the taunting was so torturous.

Bullying can be so painful and clearly has played a role in school shootings across the country. While boys are more physical, girls use weapons, exclusion, slander, rumors and gossip.

And beware … cyberbullying is on the rise. This social online cruelty is used in the forms of e-mail, cell phone; pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal Web sites, and defamatory online personal polling Web sites, deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior, and is used by an individual or group -- intended to harm others – especially amongst our youth.

While most kids use the Internet for friendly interactions, more and more kids are using these communication tools to antagonize, terrorize and intimidate others.

Ellis said “parents must keep open communication with their children. Look for signs. School administrators across the country have been sweeping this issue under the rug for too long. Students should be educated about the harmful effects of bullying. Every school should declare No Bullying Begins Today.”

Ross Ellis suggests that schools set up a web site where kids can anonymously report the person who is bullying them. That way victims can feel safe in making the report and the school can deal with the bully.

Recent Statistics Show:
• 1 out of 4 kids is Bullied.
• 1 out of 5 kids admits to being a bully, or doing some "Bullying."
• 8% of students miss 1 day of class per month for fear of Bullies.
• 43% fear harassment in the bathroom at school.
• 100,000 students carry a gun to school.
• 28% of youths who carry weapons have witnessed violence at home.
• A poll of teens ages 12-17 proved that they think violence increased at   their schools.
• 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each   month.
• More youth violence occurs on school grounds as opposed to on the   way to school.
• 80% of the time, an argument with a bully will end up in a   physical fight.
• 1/3 of students surveyed said they heard another student threaten to   kill someone.
• 1 out of 5 teens knows someone who brings a gun to school.
• 2 out of 3 say they know how to make a bomb, or know where to get   the information to do it.
• Almost half of all students say they know another student   who's capable of murder.
• Playground statistics - Every 7 minutes a child is bullied.   Adult intervention -4%   Peer intervention - 11%. No intervention - 85%.
• As many as 160,000 students may stay home on any given day   because they're afraid of their bullies due to the pain of bullying.

Ellis said “helping your children cope with either being a bully or being a victim often requires outside assistance, such as from your child's school or the community. School is the most likely place for bullying to occur, so discuss your concerns with your child's teachers and counselor and ask what they can do to help. School personnel can be influential in helping a child modify his behavior. Take advantage of any psychological counseling services that may be offered at your child's school or in your community.”

Bullying is a form of child abuse and bullies are very likely to grow up as an adult who abuses children.

Love Our Children USA will launch its new National Bullying Prevention Awareness campaign on October 5th which coincides with National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week October 5th – October 11th. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proclaimed this time as Bullying Prevention Awareness Week.

Parents Can Learn More About Bullying Below:

Bullying And Guns At School
Parents Helping to Stop Bullying and School Violence
Time For School ... Time For Bullying Prevention

Kids Can Learn More About Bullying Below:

Stop Bullying
Bullying At School
Bullying: What Have I Ever Done To You
Cell Phone and Text Messaging Safety
Online Safety For Kids and Teens
Miss Teen New Jersey International 2007 Stand Against Bullies
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