HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Nearly one-fourth of students in the country said they have been bullied at school.
Bullying can happen at any age, whether it be kindergarten or high school, and the reasons for bullying can be anything.
"Gender, classes, meaning the poor children against the children who may have a little more, races, it just varies," said Hattiesburg School District Behavioral Specialist Anita Knott. "Anything can be used as a technique to bullying."
Not only can people bully for different reasons, but there are also different ways to be the bully. For younger generations, social media makes it very easy to play bully behind a screen.
"It is anonymously in a sense," said Knott, "but anytime you put something out there on social media, you end up finding out who did it, and it gets bigger, and people get to talking about it. Then it goes from just social media to where people and seeing each other face to face."
Over half of the teens who have been bullied say it has all been done online. In an age where children are glued to the phone, sending out a nasty tweet or gossiping in a group message has proven to be easy. Knott said parents, teachers and friends need to be more observant of behaviors, and make communication key so that bullying is not overlooked.
"A lot of times our students don't want to tell anyone and want to handle it themselves, and that's where the problems come in," said Knott. "If the student is afraid to tell, then maybe that parent can be their voice and let the school officials know what's going on."
Knott also said that people who see the bullying happen can help to be a part of the solution.
"It's good for that bystander to just stand up and confront the bully," said Knott. "You would be surprised at the other people who would be willing to do the same thing if that one person just stood up and said, 'No, we're not doing that to this person because it's not the right thing to do.' And it would catch on."