Childhood bullying has long-term effects; Victims can face psychiatric issues as adults

By DENISE M. BARAN-UNLAND
The Herald News
Joliet, Illinois — Pediatricians might consider screening their young patients for symptoms of bullying during routine, preventative check-ups, said Dr. Thomas Moore, pediatrician at Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet.

“When I did a little research I learned that bullying is more common than I thought and it can cause long-term damage,” Moore said. “Both the bullies and the victims have an increased risk of psychiatric problems down the road.”
Continue reading

Back in school, kids face nasty bullying reality

BY TRACY TOWNSEND
The Columbus Dispatch/WBNS-10TV
In movies as diverse as A Christmas Story, Stand by Me and Back to the Future, Hollywood has treated bullying as a largely harmless — if not humorous — rite of passage.

In real life, bullying is anything but funny.

“Children who are bullied may be afraid to go to school,” stated a recent Mayo Clinic report. “They may complain of headaches or stomachaches and have trouble concentrating on schoolwork.”
Continue reading

Atlanta meeting will explore ways to fight school bullying

By Gracie Bonds Staples
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
In a normal year, Theresa Hyde and her 12-year-old daughter would be looking forward to the start of school on Monday. But this year, the Alpharetta mom says, back to school promises to be more like back to cruel as her family braces for yet another cold reality — the school bully.

“Right now we are literally in dread mode,” said Hyde.

Studies show that about 30 percent of school children in grades 6-10 have been bullied, been the target of bullying or both.
Continue reading

Commentary: Bullying — Why can’t we stop it?

By Maureen Downey
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Is bullying a fact of life?

It’s back in the news as Georgia’s Coalition Against Bullying plans a town hall meeting Aug. 15. Earlier this summer, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement encouraging doctors to take a bigger role in preventing bullying.
Continue reading

Back-to-school tips: from backpacks to bullying

By Reginald Jones
WTVY TV.com
DOTHAN, Ala. — It’ll soon be back to the classroom for Wiregrass area students. Summer break is coming to an end. Many parents and school aged children will have to readjust their schedules. Making that transition back to a more structured schedule can sometimes be difficult.

I found a few tips for parents and students from the American Academy of Pediatrics. If there are others tips you believe will be helpful, please leave them in comments below. The best of luck to all of you and have a great school year.

Here are the tips: Back-to-school tips: from backpacks to bullying

Pediatricians endorse Clemson University bullying-prevention program

By Sharon Crout
Clemson University
CLEMSON — A bullying-prevention program based in Clemson University’s Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life has been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics as an effective way to address youth violence in schools.

The academy’s policy statement on the role of the pediatrician in youth-violence prevention appeared in the July issue of its journal, “Pediatrics.” The academy identified the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program as the model for successful programs to prevent bullying.

Clemson’s Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life (IFNL) serves as the hub for dissemination of the Olweus program in the United States. In that role, the institute oversees all product development, research and training for the program in North and South America.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics’ recognition is gratifying as IFNL observes 10 years of leadership in uniting communities to keep kids safe,” said Gary Melton, institute director.

The Olweus approach is a school-wide program that includes interventions at the school level, in the classroom and with individual students and their parents. The program has been replicated and evaluated internationally. Full story.

Teen’s suicide after bullying at school stuns Illinois suburb

By Gerry Smith
Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO — The bullying seemed inescapable. His family and friends say it followed Iain Steele from junior high to high school — from hallways, where one tormentor shoved him into lockers, to cyberspace, where another posted a video on Facebook making fun of his taste for heavy metal music.

“At one point, (a bully) had told (Iain) he wished he would kill himself,” said Matt Sikora, Iain’s close friend.

Iain’s parents know their son had other problems, but they believe the harassment contributed to a deepening depression that hospitalized the 15-year-old twice this year. On June 3, while his classmates were taking final exams, he went to the basement of his home and hanged himself with a belt. His death stunned his quiet suburb west of Chicago and unleashed an outpouring of support for his parents, William and Liz, who say greater attention should be paid to bullying and its connection to mental health.

“No kid should be afraid for himself to go to school,” his father said. “It should be a safe environment where they can intellectually thrive. And he was, literally, just frightened to go to school, fearing what he would have to deal with on that day. And it was day after day.”

A school spokeswoman said she did not believe Iain was bullied. Police are investigating the allegations.

Nearly 30 percent of American children are bullied or are bullies themselves, according to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological and is repetitive, intentional and creates a perceived imbalance of power, said Dr. Joseph Wright, senior vice president at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington.

Soon, the American Academy of Pediatrics will for the first time include a section on bullying in its official policy statement on the pediatrician’s role in preventing youth violence.

Wright, a lead author of the statement, said the decision to address the issue was due to a growing body of research over the last decade linking bullying to youth violence, depression and suicidal thoughts.

Last year, the Yale School of Medicine conducted analysis of the link between childhood bullying and suicide in 37 studies from 13 countries, finding both bullies and their victims were at high risk of contemplating suicide.

In March, the parents of a 17-year-old Ohio boy who committed suicide filed a lawsuit against his school alleging their son was bullied. Instead of seeking compensation, they are asking the school to put in place an anti-bullying program and to recognize their son’s death as a “bullicide.” Full story.