Bullying: Ways to bring awareness and deal with it

SEARCY (KATV)--The bullying epidemic continues to be a concern across the nation, and it's no surprise it has Arkansans worried too.

Dozens attended Searcy's Town Hall Meeting on Bullying.

In partnership with the Dr. Robert E. Elliott Foundation and Searcy Public Schools, experts discussed bringing awareness to bullying.

They also discussed how to deal with the issue and mental health problems associated with bullying.

Tonight, we hear from one mom whose son has been battling anxiety and depression because of bullying.

"My stepson is 15 and he has suffered a lot of bullying," said Kathy Bolding.

Bullied for the past five years, but he stayed quiet for nearly half of it.

"He never said anything until a couple of years ago, he came home crying from school," added Bolding.

Bolding's stepson is among thousands across the country with the same story.

"Being made fun of, a lot or pushed around and shoved at school, basically physical bullying and it's so hard to see him go through that," said Bolding.

Dozens of parents, along with community leaders and professionals packed the Searcy High School Cafeteria tackling the issue of bullying.

"Something that can reduce the risk of bullying is the presence of adults, so being involved in your kid's school because teachers can't be there all the time to watch all the kids. Then talking with your kids, about what happened at school today," said Dr. Jeffrey Palmer, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Medical Director at The Bridgeway Hospital.

However, it's not just at school, technology has now provided a platform for 24-7 bullying.

"Cyberbullying, it's a big threat kids face these days, and a lot of parents don't know how to react to it," said Joshua Carroll, Network and Information Security Specialist.

Some advice from experts tonight, monitor your child's activity on social networks.

If you suspect your child is being bullied, tell the proper authorities immediately.

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