NPPS new initiative to stomp out bullying

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. -- Students enrolled in North Platte Public Schools are starting classes in just a few days. With the dog days of summer almost over, some kids may be experiencing back to school stress if they're the target of bullying.

"Bullying is a repeated and deliberate act," Officer Jeremiah Johnson, the North Platte Public Schools Resource Officer, said.

Bullying can have serious negative psychological and physical impacts on students.

"We recognize four styles of bullying: verbal, physical, cyber bullying and social bullying. Today in society. I think social bullying is our worst enemy," Officer Johnson, said.

That's why North Platte Public Schools are incorporating 'Bullying, Harassment or Intimidation Reports' into their policy and procedures.

"All parents, if they feel like their child is being bullied, or if there is a certain incident where their child is being bullied, they can come and grab this report and fill it out explaining what happened," Officer Johnson, explained.

The new reporting system will have a resolution for each case, which Officer Johnson says is a change to previous practices,"Prior to that a lot of parents didn't know what the resolution was, they might of reported it to the school and not heard back, but now we have a resolution and parents will be notified about what the resolution was."

According the government website, StopBullying.Gov, some bullying red flags to look out for from your child are:
-Changes in behavior or appetite
-Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
-Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
-Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
-Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
-Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem

With the increase use of social media sites, it can be hard to track when bullying occurs. Officer Johnson said he thinks it's important to limit your child's time on the internet and recommends knowing your child's passwords to these social media sites.

All in all, Officer Johnson said it's a team effort to protect students and stomp out bullying, "As a community it's all our responsibility to help the kids through these processes."