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Dallas Addresses Bullying With In-School Program

As parents begin to check off items from the back-to-school supply list, they also start to discuss study habits, extra-curricular activities and their children’s interactions with others at school. During these conversations, the topic of bullying or cyber-bullying will likely come up.

The Bully Police, an organization of advocates for bullied children, estimate that 90 percent of students felt being bullied caused social, emotional or academic problems. In Dallas, Texas, CONTACT, a crisis support organization, has teamed up with Verizon Wireless to support its youth program, Teen CONTACT. The program offers counseling services, including a 24-hour hotline, to teens under emotional and social distress.

This fall, CONTACT and Verizon will develop bullying-related curriculum for the Blue in Schools program. The program, created by the Dallas Police Department, teaches life skills to students and provides them with tools to navigate through life’s difficult choices. CONTACT’s curriculum will focus on the importance of respect and the negative effects of bullying.

Aside from anti-bullying education in schools, parents can also use wireless technology at home to monitor children’s technology use to detect and address cyber-bullying. According to Bullying Statistics, more than 25 percent of teens have been bullied through text messages or on the Internet. The newly announced Verizon FamilyBase solution is a usage control tool that gives parents visibility into who is included in their children’s contact list, who and when they are calling and texting, and what apps they are using and for how long.

Providing emotional outlets for children impacted by bullying, educating children about anti-bullying at school and discussing bullying as a family at home can help prepare children for trying situations in the coming school year. Now parents can also add technology tools to help children report and stop bullying.