New study calls bullying a public health problem - WNEM TV 5

New study calls bullying a public health problem

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Bullying in school is being called a serious public health problem and researchers said it's time to change the way we deal with it.

About one out of four students report being a victim of bullying, but it's believed 64 percent of victims don't even report it.

The effects of bullying can be profound, leading to anxiety or depression for victims. It could also lead to a violent behavior later in life for the bullies themselves.

Miranda Jenkins and Emily Scott are fifth graders in Bay County. They are just two of many kids who said they've been bullied at school. Sometimes it's just taunting, other times it's worse.

Unfortunately, stories like theirs are happening far too often at schools all across the country.

In a new report by the National Academics of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, researchers argue bullying should be treated like a serious public health issue and no longer dismissed as merely a matter of kids being kids.

"I think bullying is a big problem and I think parents need to be more involved in schools," said Renee Ziembo, parent.

Researchers agree. They said the key to stopping this issue is talking to your kids before it happens. Reporting the bullying as it happens and telling kids what to do when they see it happening to others is also key.

Miranda said she plans to do just that. She had this message for would-be bullies looking to cause trouble.

"It's not worth it because you already know you're going to get in trouble," she said.

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