Bullying: where kids learn, and is it more prevalent?

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - After a YouTube video went viral, showing kids bullying an adult school bus monitor, it had some people asking questions.

Is bullying more prevalent in today's society, than past generations, or do people just talk about it more?

Some school administrators like Alan Bruns, the Assistant Principal at Cape Central Junior High School said he doesn't think there's more bullying. But, he says he thinks it can be more intense since a lot of it happens online. He says with social media, a bully can have an audience of hundreds, maybe even the entire school, not just a few kids in a hallway.

"We spend a lot of times in mornings cleaning up what was said on Facebook last night," said Bruns.

But Cape Central High School Principal Mike Cowan said he doesn't think there's more bullying instances.

"I think certainly we've seen an increase in bullying in the last five maybe 10 years as you say, part of that is almost cause and effect, we've also talked more about bullying," said Cowan.

"I don't think just because they're hearing about it, if they're going to do it, they're going to do it, they know about it already," said Bruns.

Both school administrators said any form of bullying affects school work. They said both victims and bullies, can't focus on school, when involved in a bullying situation.

Cowan said kids pick up behavior traits from their parents, friends, and pop culture. He said that can result in bullying peers, or adults.

"I do think there's an overall decline of just civility in our society as far as how adults talk to each other, how adults talk to kids, how kids talk to each other," said Cowan.

"If I'm in a disciplinary situation in my office, I frequently will call the parent with the child present, I frequently will put the parent on speaker phone so that we all three can engage in conversation and I'm often times absolutely appalled at how the student speaks to his or her parent, and often times how the parent responds," said Cowan.

Jessica Woolfchessey, a clinical therapist at Community Counseling Center agreed, saying kids pick up cues on how to act from those around them.

"Our children learn those lessons, and then they take those lessons to school with them," said Woolfchessey.

Bruns said kids don't show less respect now days, he said society has just changed expectations.

"Definitely they show you more respect with the more respect you give them, definitely a two way street with students, that when I was in school, when I was young I know that was just expected that you respected adults, and now I think students expect to have it both ways," said Bruns.

"This is a place where were teaching our kids not just algebra and mathematics, but we're also teaching them human interaction, we're also teaching them values," said Cowan.

"It does probably start at home, but we always take what they've learned at home, and help them grow with it, not discount moms rules or dads rules at all, because they certainly have a place, so its just a matter of building upon those," said Bruns.

All the experts say it's important for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, anyone in a kid's life, to reiterate bullying is unacceptable.

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