Back to School: Bullying - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Back to School: Bullying

SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

It's that time of year again: Getting your kids ready to go back to school.

But there's one issue that you might need to talk about before they hit the hallways.

"If it interferes with the educational process, it needs to be addressed," said Scott County Central Superintendent Alvin McFerren.

It can be a touchy topic: bullying.

McFerren said they bring in specialists and have an all school assembly at the beginning of the year.

"We talk about the issues we are going to be pinpointing for the year, the emphasis, and every year thus far, unfortunately bullying has been a topic of conversation that we want to go over thoroughly with our students," said McFerren.

Both McFerren and Scott County Central Principal John-Mark Jones said they don't tolerate bullying.

"If you don't talk about it, you're going into thinking you already know, and that's usually when it goes unnoticed, unpunished, then becomes an issue for the school," said Jones.

"The kids can't do much except build it up inside and something bad happens," said McFerren.

Even new parents like Kitrina Skaggs who has a 15-month-old son, said she already worries about bullying.

"It's a big issue, four-year-olds have iPhones now and they get bullied if they don't have an iPhone we play outside, and I'm afraid he's not going to have the technology advances and he'll get picked on," said Skaggs.

It's those technology devices that the school administrators and counselors said has evolved bullying.

"They're hitting them in that aspect and then it may be on the playground, on the school bus, it's happening so many different ways whereas before maybe they only had the access at school," said Tabatha Shankle with Bootheel Counseling Services.

Shankle said appointment numbers are affected by the school year.

"I think that comes from when they're in school they're more available to each other, there's a lot more stress during the school year, so they're taking it out on each other," said Shankle.

So what can you do?

Both administrators and counselors said it's important to have a communication flow between parents, students and teachers.

"You may not like to hear what your kids have to say or what's been happening, but the more comfortable you can make your kids with that, the more likely it is you're going to know what's been going on," said Shankle.

"I just want him to know that he can talk to me or his father about anything and we're always there to support him and that violence isn't the key, we need to talk it out first," said Skaggs.

And, to make sure your kids know it's okay to tell if they see something.

A local professor said the consequences nowadays can be more severe than in years past. Things you post on social media aren't private anymore.

So make sure to talk about that with your kids.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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