Local efforts to stomp out bullying - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Local efforts to stomp out bullying

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Several local efforts are trying to help keep bullying out of the classroom and local groups like the Boys and Girls Club in Myrtle Beach is having an anti-bullying campaign. Loris Elementary, Ocean Bay Middle and Saint James High School all have bully-free zones to name a few.

But the bullied says it is a problem that sometimes flies under the radar at school. Blake Graham who was bullied in Elementary and Middle School says this generation has become professionals at dodging the rules when adults are around. Blake says it is important to instill in kids at a young age to value others' differences.

Blake says targeting preteens in an anti-bullying effort could make all the difference to put an end to it. Blake says, "I remember it happened when I was in middle school, and I would just come home and feel so bad and upset and I would just come home and take a nap for hours and stay in my room because I didn't want to talk to anyone about it because I felt really bad."

There are three types of bullying-cyber, verbal and physical. Blake says all three are equally damaging and painful. There are clues parents can look for in their child to see if he/she is being bullied. Blake's parents said they noticed a huge difference when their son was dealing with bullies at school. But it all goes back to establishing communication about every aspect of life. That is why their son eventually opened up about the whole ordeal. They saw a change in personality and mood.

Parents also need to pay attention to changes in habits like not going out with friends or less time on the phone. If kids have trouble sleeping or lose interest in eating, those could be signs of trouble. Parents who have been through this issue with their kids say parents need to talk it out and then take it to the school to figure out what can be done. Some say families can prevent kids from becoming bullies. Connie Graham says, "Having the type of environment that is conducive to raising a loving individual so moms, we carry that role heavily, show and exhibit that kindness to your child that you want that child to give to others."

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