Mid South school districts begin to take bullying seriously

Ninety-eight percent of the school shootings and all the big school violence started out as the shooters being bullied.

A bully is defined as a person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people. This disorderly conduct can push kids to a violent boiling point.

Mid-South school districts have begun to take bullying seriously.

A federal grant pays for an anti-bullying campaign in the West Memphis School District. Some Weaver Elementary students learn bullying can be physical, verbal...and psychological.

Officer Lynn Chamberlain with the Memphis Police Department says, "And as I told the children one child in 1993 had been bullied for three years and then committed suicide, that's unacceptable."

Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee outlaw bullying.
Tennessee's "Bully Bill", passed in 2005, encourages schools to give students a way to voice their concerns.

Carter Myers says, "No longer is it that you have red hair or you have pimples on your face."

Carter Myers represents AnComm, a web based messaging service that allows students to report bullying to faculty members and school resource officers anonymously through emails.

"And then they just type their messagem," says Myers.

Myers plans to pitch his program to Mid-South schools.

Myers continues, "You choose an individual you build a dialogue you build a connection with someone and you bring resolution through the dialogue rather than through a voicemail or an anonymous tip."

For now, students rely on dedicated officers like Lynn Chamberlain...

"That's what we're here for," says Chamberlain.

Who teaches them how to recognize bullying?

Student Demarcus Parker says, "Big kids picking on little kids. And what will you do if you see that? Go tell an adult."

A school program tape on bullying states, "It's just time for society to stop all this. We need to take hold of it and make sure our children grow up."

And that means educating kids how to see and stop bullying before it breeds violence.