Bullying is a problem in local schools; we need to work with children to help create better adults (editorial) | VailDaily.com

Bullying is a problem in local schools; we need to work with children to help create better adults (editorial)

The Facebook group called Eagle County Classifieds is mostly a place to buy and sell items. But it’s also a place where some pretty broad-ranging discussions take place.

One of those discussions was started recently by a local mom who told the story of pulling her daughter out of a local school because of bullying.

There have been hundreds of responses to the post. Many of those respondents have told their own stories of bullying. Most wrote about their kids being bullied at school and the response, or lack thereof, by school officials.

The conversation paints a picture with an undeniable message: Bullying is a problem in local schools. In fact, it’s believed that cyber-bullying was one of the factors — and there are always several factors — that contributed to a local girl’s suicide earlier this year.

A story in this newspaper in March outlined the extent to which bullying is a problem in local schools. As many as one-third of local middle school girls report being bullied online.

The problem comes with trying to punish bullies. While most of us know bullying when we see it, it can be hard to put that behavior into the black and white of a written report for school or law enforcement officials.

That means responses to bullying are mostly up to us. It’s up to parents and others to help a child being bullied.

A Facebook group, Bullying Prevention Solutions & Support of Eagle County, has gained nearly 60 members since just last week.

That’s good.

But it’s also important that parents understand how to respond when one of their children is accused of being a bully. That has to be one of the hardest facts a parent has to face.

Reports of bullying, on both sides, can be difficult to understand and perhaps more difficult to solve. There’s always the concern that a bullying report can lead to still more abusive behavior.

Bullying is as old as childhood itself. But people of good will can work to cut down on abuse and work with children to help create better adults.

The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Krista Driscoll and Business Editor Scott Miller.

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