Moody helps protect children from bullies

  • Published
  • By Airman Alexis Grotz
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs
From a shy little girl sitting alone on the bus, to the star athlete at a local high school, bullying can affect everyone.

In the past, people often considered bullying to be part of growing up. The website indicates that 28 percent of students grades 6 to 12 have experienced some form of bullying.

In today's society, bullying isn't always physical. It can be verbal, emotional or cyber. Parents should look for warning signs and know how they can help stop bullying, because it affects more than one person.

"Bullying can really hurt the soul and the spirit of a child," said Ann Lukens, 23d Force Support Squadron school liaison officer (SLO).

A SLO is a point of contact for education and advocacy for children pre-kindergarten to high school. The SLO can help parents communicate with their child's school if bullying is an issue.

There are many different ways bullies can attack others. Physically, they can push, punch, trip, shove, kick or hit. Bullies can attack emotions, threaten, insult or embarrass the person they are attacking. With the advent of technology, cyber bullying is a newer form of harassment with text, email, picture messages or social networking sites.

"Parents should work to keep communication with their child, so the child knows it's safe to talk to them about what is happening," said Lukens.

Warning signs of bullying may include a child who seems quiet or depressed. They may start to lose interest in school or their grades can start slipping. Generally a child's behavior could change, and they may start to think they can't escape.

"A big sign would be if a child no longer wants to go to school," said Lukens. "Then there could be an issue and something needs to be done."

Parents should know what they can do to help if their child is being bullied. First and foremost, listen and focus on what the child is saying and assure them it is not their fault.

"Bullying does happen, but that does not mean it is OK," said Windy Scott, 23d FSS Exceptional Family Member Program coordinator.

According to, some children who are bullied may struggle to talk about it. It's good to allow the child to share their experiences. Parents can give advice on how to help solve the problem and follow up with the child after taking action on the situation.

"Just because they stop talking about it, doesn't mean it's not still happening," said Scott.

If a parent needs to step in and help solve the situation, they should start with the lowest person such as a teacher or bus driver. If that doesn't solve the problem, parents could work their way up to administrators, school counselor, superintendent, SLO, Family Support Coordinator, Board of Education and then the state's Department of Education if needed.

For more information on bullying prevention, contact the Moody Air Force Base Airmen and Family Readiness Center at 229-257-1609.