"Old schoolers" might remember the phrases, "I'll see you at 3:15", or "I'm gonna get you after school".  I watched a local newscast yesterday of video that showed a child being beat up while on his way from school.  The child was autistic and it was very obvious that he did not want to fight, after making numerous pleas.  He ended up with a broken arm and some bruises.  This child could not defend himself against a bully that had an obvious advantage over him.  The mother did not sit still for it and went to the media.  (Good for you Mom)

Children have been bullied in school for years and, for the most part, it was dismissed as "child's play".  A push, a shove, and an actual "fair" fight back then, but today, bullying cannot be ignored because it's effect is much more violent and life threatening.  Today's kids have taken bullying to a whole different level, and it's serious business.  Everything from verbal attacks to stabbing and shooting.  And then, there's cyber bullying that has resulted in children and young adults taking their life due to the pressure and stress.  It's becoming increasingly difficult for parents to keep up, however, there are some things you can do to help protect your children.  Talk with them and help them to understand the meaning of bullying. Let them know that if they are hurt or harmed, either physically or emotionally by another student, then it's considered to be bullying.  Find out who your child's friends are.  Watch for changes in behavior and attitude.  Pay attention to how often your child is sick and doesn't want to go to school.  Your child may suddenly be withdrawn or feel depressed.  Pay attention to the signs, although not always readily detected, you as a parent have to be very observant because children can be very good at masking.  If you discover that your child is being bullied, you have to spring into action right away.  There are several websites that you can research to find out where to go and who to talk to, and I've listed a few for you to look at:

www.stopbullying.gov
www.bullying.org
www.ncpc.org

Don't wait until it's too late to take a pro-active approach to protect the safety of your child/children.