Bedford counselors offer advice to parents on bullying

BEDFORD, Ohio - Guidance counselor Alecia Henderson was teaching a fifth-grade class about bullying Wednesday at Columbus Intermediate School in Bedford. It's about the age when kids are getting into social media, which is where you see some of the bullying problems arise.

"They post comments about someone, saying something negative or they'll even make threats on social media," she said, "and then they come to school and, of course, they haven't seen each other all weekend or it happened the night before and they come to school and then there's a problem."

Bedford is one of the school districts trying to nip bullying in the bud, with anti-bullying programs as early as kindergarten.

The school district issued a statement Wednesday asking parents to help support efforts to keep students safe.

"One way they can do this is by monitoring their children's social media behaviors and notifying school officials and police when they detect threatening or inappropriate activity," the statement said.

Earlier Wednesday, the parent of a Bedford High School student was in court on charges of assaulting two students over social media conflicts with her child.

The schools want parents to let school officials and counselors handle these kinds of conflicts before they escalate.

"If it happens after school, the parents can always call the police," Henderson said. "There are phone number blocking apps that they can download or they can call their cell phone carrier to block text messages and cell phone numbers."

There's also a report button on Facebook that parents can click to notify the site that there's an inappropriate comment. Henderson said the site can remove the comment and suspend the person's account.

"Monitor those social media sites that your child is a part of," she said. "Make sure you are a friend on every single site that they're on so that you can see what's going on. Monitor, monitor, monitor. "

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