Free bullying seminar helps parents and their kids
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Experts call school bullies a growing epidemic. More and more parents want to know what they can do to protect their kids. Saturday's free bullying seminar on the northwest side was the place to get those answers.
Inside a small fellowship hall at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, a small group of parents, teachers and students got together to tackle bullying. 9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked parents in the audience if they have the tools necessary to help their own children.
"Not all the time, no," said Jane Gordon. "Even here at the church a lot of our parents are working parents are working parents so they don't have time to address it. Many don't see it as a problem."
It's a topic 9OYS viewers are passionate about. Hundreds of messages have been sent into the newsroom and on Facebook sharing stories of personal experiences with bullying. The consensus is students are dealing with a lot inside schools. KGUN 9 asked Dr. Sheri Bauman, a professor at the University of Arizona, and an expert in bullying, if it's harder to be a student now than in the past.
"I think yes," Bauman said. "I thought I had it hard as a kid, but now pressures are more intense, and in terms of bullying we have additional tools that can be employed if people want to hurt someone else."
Parents came to Dr. Bauman for answers. She walked the crowd through scenarios and took questions. She tells 9OYS teachers are faced with a serious challenge.
"No where in teacher training is there a course of how to respond bullying," Bauman said.
The key Bauman says is students. "When we help kids become empowered bystanders, that's when we're really going to see a difference," she said.