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News Releases

For Immediate Release

Parents, Teachers and Students Need to be Vigilant Against Bullying and School Violence

As kids head back to school, parents, teachers, school administrators and students should be aware of ways to identify and prevent bullying, which can lead to more serious situations including school violence.

Bullying includes physical, verbal and psychological aggression, according to child development experts at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Carla Weidman, PhD, a psychologist in the Child Development Unit at Children’s, points out that while young boys typically directly bully other students physically or with verbal taunts, girls’ methods of bullying often include verbal taunts and less direct exclusionary tactics.

“The bottom line is that parents and adults at school should be attentive to whether children are bullies, or are being bullied. Things can escalate very quickly into violence,” Dr. Weidman said. “Kids who are bullied are picked on repeatedly, don’t seem to have friends, often find a different way to walk to school and don’t tell people about it because they are embarrassed.”

According to a recent government survey, children who bully others, or who are bullied, are more likely to engage in violent behavior. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported that in a survey of more than 15,000 U.S. school children, 70 percent of boys and 30–40 percent of girls involved in bullying reported carrying a weapon in the month prior to the survey.

Schools should promote a zero tolerance attitude toward bullies and train all adults at school and on school buses to recognize and stop bullying, according to Dr. Weidman. Parents should notify teachers and school administrators immediately if they have concerns about bullying.

The start of school is a time of transition and many situations, such as bullying, can cause anxiety, Dr. Weidman said. It is normal and even expected for some children to experience anxiety at the start of the school year. But parents should seek help through the school if that anxiety extends for several weeks and leads to problems sleeping, eating or focusing on school.

For more information on bullying and school violence, visit our “School Violence” page.

Melanie Tush Finnigan, 412-692-5016,
Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-5016,

Last Update
June 17, 2008
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Last Update
June 17, 2008