Experts say bullying can lead to child violence

BLOOMFIELD, MO (KFVS) - Anyone can snap once they reach their breaking point, and for someone being bullied, he or she usually reacts in two ways.

Bootheel Counseling Service Counselor Sylvia Webbster said someone being bullied will either react outwards in anger or violence, or inwards in the form of depression.

Webbster said one in three kids are involved in bullying, either they've been bullied, or bully someone else. She said about 67% of bullying happens when adults aren't around.

Pamela Madsen said she was bullied as a child, and eventually stopped riding the school bus. She said bullying is something everyone needs to work towards stopping.

Webster and Madsen says it's important to stress that bullying is not just 'kids being kids.'

"What is very difficult for a child, an adult may think, oh that's nothing and be a little bit, oh it will be alright, play with someone else, children should be taken seriously, children think differently than adults do," said Webbster.

"You know parents are either like well my kid will never do that or you know it's just kids being kids, and that's not the case, it's a real issue that you know parents really need to address," said Madsen.

Webbster said it's a community effort to stop bullying, both parents and schools. She said parents are teachers and the adults in a child's life are the people the kid learns from. So she said it's important for those adults to set a good example.

"I just think it's important for us to not so much be judgmental, when things happen, I say everyone has their own map of the world and we don't always know where that child or adult has come from," said Webbster.

"Something real simple to someone that they may consider teasing could be really hurtful," said Madsen.

Webbster said school's 'Zero Tolerance' policies don't work. She said it's important for schools to watch for bullying and talk to kids about it.

Webbster said parents should watch to see if they think their child is being bullied. One sign, if the child is constantly complaining of a stomach or headache, any to skip school.

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