Experts offer advice as the face of bullying changes in schools

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There was a time when bullying happened on the playground or in the neighborhood.

These days, bullying takes on many guises including on the internet. How do parents protect their children?

“Now that means monitoring what your kids are doing on the computer, type of language they’re using, and they could be teasing somebody and that has an effect on student’s emotional well-being as well,” DOE Director of Communications Donalyn Dela Cruz said. “So, while we imagine, what you said — the old-school bullying or something physical — while that does happen, that’s not the only kind of bullying we’re looking out for.”

What should parents do if they find out their child is being bullied on the playground or the computer?

“I think the approach that’s important is to be really compassionate with your children.  Not so much anger because it happened, but more as a loving parent who wants to know what’s happened, what’s going on,” psychologist Dr. Jared Yurow said.

Research shows that bullies have more issues than those they pick on.

“And we try to go deeper and take a look at why is this child feeling the need to act out. Is there something going on at home? Maybe he or she isn’t doing well academically?” Dela Cruz said.

The DOE has a web page that includes information on how to deal with bullying at school. Bullying can happen at any age.

“But it’s also something that can go on in the workplace. It can go on at family events. It’s something that can really happen at any age,” Dr. Yurow said.

There is no perfect answer to any bullying situation. It’s a matter that is taken seriously by the DOE.

For more information on bullying, visit the DOE’s website.

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