Schools prepared to handle bullying ahead of first day of class - WNCT

Schools prepared to handle bullying ahead of first day of class

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ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. -

Ahead of the first day of school in less than four days, school districts across the state are doing last minute checks on everything from bus routes to student schedules.

They're also ready to handle the widespread problem of bullying.

Like thousands of kids in North Carolina, Hannah Hughes, 14, goes back to school on Monday. But she's a little nervous.

"I'm scared I might get picked on. Freshmen are the lowest in the school, so they might pick on us because we're the smallest," said Hughes.

Students pick on other kids for their weight, the types of clothes they wear, even their good grades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in 2011, 20% of high school students reported being bullied on school property within the last 12 months before the survey.

"Each bullying report is taken very seriously," said Dr. Sue Kreuser, Director of Testing, Assessment, Student Achievement at Carteret County Schools.

Kreuser says anyone who's bullied should report it to a parent or teacher as soon as possible.

"If that report should go to a teacher, that teacher would follow up with a counselor of administrator and that team of people would follow procedures and practices for a full investigation," said Kreuser.

That investigation can lead to anything from a warning to an expulsion, depending on the seriousness of the bullying.

"Certainly the number of bullying incidents has decreased because we've had such an awareness on the issue," said Kreuser.

Part of that increased awareness comes from programs like Rachel's Challenge, a nationwide campaign to replace bullying and school violence with kindness.

Counselors are often trained to handle bullying, and in some schools they teach students what to do if it happens.

"They have big bullying programs to help kids who are bullied and help stop bullying," said Hughes.
You can also report bullying anonymously on Carteret, Craven, and Pamlico county schools' website.

On Carteret County Schools' website, click on "Bully/Harassment Report Form" on the left-hand side. http://www.carteretcountyschools.org/

On Pamlico County Schools' website, click on the "Parents" tab, then "Forms," and then "Bullying/Harassment/Discrimination Report Form." http://www.pamlico.k12.nc.us/site_res_view_template.aspx?id=a261de72-8007-486d-8da1-df41c053e843

On Craven County Schools' website, click on the "Students and Parents" tab, then "Report a Bully," and then the hyperlink next to the Discrimination, Harassment, or Bully Reporting Form. http://www.craven.k12.nc.us/?page_id=377

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