Experts encourage parents to look for signs of bullying

Back to school: signs of bullying

CLEVELAND, OH – Kids are going back to school in a few weeks which means the word “bullying” will re-enter the conversation, but there are things parents and teachers can look for to help ease the pain that comes with it.

Bill Stencil, psychologist at Cleveland Metropolitan School District, said it starts with looking for patterns.

“Sleep patterns, eating patterns, concerns of changing of friends or lack of friends,” Stencil said. “Grades may change for the worst.”

Seeing those signs only comes with knowing and listening to your child, Stencil said.

Look for frequent changes in moods, withdrawal from friends and lashing out as symptoms that something might not be right at school and make yourself available to talk about it.

In a survey taken in urban schools by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cleveland schools ranked high when it came to suicide attempts.

Stencil said that can be attributed to a lot of different issues.

“I think with poverty comes many concerns, financial concerns, home concerns, food, shelter,” he said.

As a district and as parents, he said the responsibility to address social issues belongs to us all.

“Our young people are reporting suicide ideation,” Stencil said. “It tells us that something’s going on that we need to be dealing with.”

© 2017 WKYC-TV

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