Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
October 26, 2012
Marla Augustine, Communication and Legislative Services, 402-471-4047 or
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October is National Bullying Prevention Month
Lincoln—Nearly one in five students reports being bullied, according to national statistics. 
Not all children who are bullied ask for help, so parents and teachers should be alert for signs of bullying, according to Scot L. Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
“Being bullied can cause depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and even thoughts of suicide, so it’s important to try to prevent and eliminate it,” Adams said.
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves an imbalance of power.  Most often, it is repeated over time.  School bullying takes on many forms, and it is done by both girls and boys.  The abuse can include:
  • Use of derogatory comments and bad names;
  • Threats of social exclusion;
  • Use of physical force, such as hitting or shoving;
  • Spread of lies and false rumors;
  • Having money or property taken or damaged; or
  • Being made to do things.
Bullying may also include racial, sexual or cyber bullying.
“Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in taking action against bullying,” Adams said.
Warning signs include behaviors like a change in eating habits, acting out of character, avoiding certain places or not wanting to play outside alone, trouble sleeping, having few friends, and making excuses not to go to school.
Tips for parents:
  • Encourage your child to share problems with you.
  • Praise and encourage your child - a confident child is less likely to be bullied.
  • Help your child develop new friendships - new peers can provide a new chance.
  • Maintain contact with your child's school. Keep a detailed record of bullying episodes and communication with the school.
  • Encourage your child to participate in sports or physical activity to improve esteem.

Tips for schools:

  • Establish a bullying prevention committee.
  • Create a long-term anti-bullying plan and raise school and community awareness and involvement.
  • Use anonymous student surveys to assess bullying-related behaviors.
  • Include parents in planning, discussions and action plans.
  • Establish classroom rules against bullying.
  • Create consequences regarding bullying.
  • Initiate serious talks with bullies and victims of bullying individually.