SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - For many kids, going back to school is a fun, exciting time. But for some students, there can be a sense of dread due to fears of bullying. We spoke with a bullying victim and a school employee about what parents can do before students head back to class.
"I always get hit and cussed at," said "Anna," as we'll call her. She described enduring years of bullying despite the efforts of teachers, counselors and administrators, most recently while attending a Caddo Parish elementary school.
Anna recalled kids, "Punching me and cussing and talking mess about me." Anna said even after the bullies were removed, it didn't stop. "Their friends picking on me next." Now 12 years old and headed to the 7th grade at a new school, Anna fears if she will face the same issues.
Her grandmother, who we'll call Mrs. G., says Anna's mother died last year. She now finds solace in her drawings.
For its part, the Caddo Parish School District is well aware of the bullying problem and by many accounts they've been very proactive. That includes the creation of an 'Erase Bullying Homepage' on the district's web site and a Bullying Helpline.
Pamela Bell is Anna's Sunday school teacher and a teacher's aid at another local school in the ArkLaTex. She said bullying happens in and out of school and calls on parents to talk to their children and be more involved before school gets underway this year.
Bell implored, "Parents need to come out. Come to the school. Talk to your children. If you know your child is a bully, then talk to them, discipline them. If they got a problem, try to help them."
Pamela added that she has a strong feeling Anna will be in a much better situation this school year.
The phone number for Caddo Schools Bullying Helpline is (318) 455-4123.