Viewpoint: October 19, 2011

Our children are facing a growing threat. It's a dangerous activity that can hurt their self-esteem, cause depression, affect their school work and in some cases, it leads to death. This threat is bullying.

It's been around for generations, but it's more of a danger now because of the growing popularity of social media, which makes it easy for youngsters to become cyber-bullies. How bad it is?  Government statistics show roughly one in three middle and high school students report being bullied.

Some of these children, who are tired of the constant harassment and name-calling, are choosing to end their lives rather than face another day of torment. With the help of the I CARE program, EBR schools are implementing social and emotional prevention programs to teach necessary life skills and to boost academic achievement.

I CARE specialists and school officials recently attended a conference where they received training in identifying signs and symptoms of bullying and learned more about  individual, family and school responses proven to be effective in countering bullying behaviors.

If you know or suspect your child is being bullied, we encourage you to communicate with your child's teacher or call the I CARE program at (225) 226-2273.