MCS launches hotline to report bullying | News
MEMPHIS, TN- (WMC-TV) - One Memphis City Schools board member has convinced the district to set up a new hotline to report bullying. She had good reason; her own daughter was being bullied at school and on the Internet.
School Board Commissioner Stephanie Gatewood said she realized the gravity of the problem when she learned roughly 160,000 children miss school each day for fear of being bullied.
She's now making her concerns public to get help for the victims and for the bullies.
"My daughter was bullied and as a result, she almost took her life," Gatewood said.
She said a group of students bullied her daughter at school, and then began cyber-bullying the child.
"You can hide behind texts, Facebook, Twitter and you can say whatever it is you want to say," she said.
Personal safety expert Marti Miller says bullying comes in different forms.
"It can be on an individual basis, one-on-one or it can come in groups," she said.
Gatewood drew up a resolution to launch an anonymous bully reporting system.
It passed unanimously and is now featured on the MCS website.
If a student is bullied or witnesses someone getting bullied, they can call, email, text or report it online.
All personal information is removed and the message is sent to the school district to be investigated.
"A bully is three times more likely to have a criminal record by the time they're 24," said Miller.
Miller said some bullying goes undetected so parents should look for signs.
"Was she at one time an outgoing child and then became more and more aloof? Is there any kind of physical abuse? Are there any scratches? Are there marks on her?"
Gatewood plans to take her anti-bullying campaign a step further by offering counseling to the victims and the bullies.
She's also working to make sure every front office in the district is aware of the program.
Miller has written a book on how to raise your children safely.
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