BACK TO SCHOOL: Therapist explains how parents can help prevent bullying


As students prepare for another school year, parents also need to prepare for different situations, including bullying. 

David Kalergis, Lowcountry Family and Children therapist, told WCBD the best thing parents can do is have an open conversation with their child about bullying. 

“Ask them what do you do if you are being bullied or see another kid being bullied,” said Kalergis. 

He says the problem is most students are too embarrassed to report or admit they have been bullied. Not having the conversation can lead to long term health problems. 

Kalergis says bullying is more common in middle school and high school. Three common types of bullying include: verbal, social, and physical. Cyberbullying is also very common these days.

“It can lead to self harming behavior, such as suicidal thoughts, destructive behavior, running away, and dropping grades,” said Lowcountry Family and Children therapist David Kalergis.

A bullied student may have new cuts and bruises, diminished appetite, frequent isolation from friends and family, and nightmares. 

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Did You Know?

  1. More than one out of every five (20.8%) students report being bullied (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2016).
  2. 33% of students who reported being bullied at school indicated that they were bullied at least once or twice a month during the school year (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2016).
  3. Of those students who reported being bullied, 13% were made fun of, called names, or insulted; 12% were the subject of rumors; 5% were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; and 5% were excluded from activities on purpose (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2016).
  4. Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and depression (Center for Disease Control, 2015).
  5. Students who experience bullying are twice as likely as non-bullied peers to experience negative health effects such as headaches and stomachaches (Gini & Pozzoli, 2013).

(Data provided by Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center. Visit their website to see more bullying statistics.)

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