Protecting our Children: Parents, school staff have options for addressing suspicions of bullying by or against a child

Many children targeted by school bullies often keep it to themselves, but experts say it is important to involve adults.

The Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Johnstown leads anti-bullying programs across the state. Manager Shiryl Barto said parents and teachers can spot signs of trouble.

“Watch for change of habits,” Barto said. “They don’t want to ride the bus, or they don’t want to walk to school when they used to like walking. Any change in routine should be investigated.”

Parents can talk to teachers or their child’s friends to see if they noticed a change in behavior, she said.

Other signs may include loss of appetite, anxiousness, angry outbursts or coming home with torn clothing, damage to belongings or without belongings.

Cyber bullying through social networking and electronic messaging is a growing concern. Although studies show it still is not as prevalent as traditional bullying, the 24/7 nature of social networks

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