Controlling bullying in Ouachita Parish Schools

Courtesy: MGN Online
Bullying (Courtesy: MGN Online)
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OUACHITA PARISH, La.(KNOE) - Schools throughout Ouachita Parish are trying to put a stop to bullying. Ouachita Parish Schools psychologist Flint Smith said with social media in the mix, controlling bullying is becoming harder.

"It's so difficult to control because, you know, it spreads so fast," Smith said.

The National Voices for Equality, Education, and Enlightenment says during the past year, 1 million children were harassed, threatened or cyberbullied on Facebook. Which is why Smith says parents should consider monitoring their child's social media accounts.

"I think we need to think more responsible with technology. If [students] have it they need to be taught how to use it," Smith said. He said there are three groups of people affected by bullying. "People that bully, kids that are bullied and what we call passive bystander, who are affected by it," Smtih said. Smith is encouraging parents to watch out for the signs.

"I would tell parents when kids are being consistently bullied, you do see changes in their mood, sometimes school refusal. Especially school refusal," he said.

Other signs Smith said parents should watch out for are unexplainable injuries, loss in interest of the school and self-destructive ways. Smith said the most helpful thing to combat bullying is a bit of kindness.

"Teaching students to be kind to one another is harder than you think it is. That is something that we continually teach and model. There is power in kindness," he said.