Reporter's Notebook: Bullying - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Reporter's Notebook: Bullying

For the last several weeks, I've brought several stories to the table regarding bullying. 

In the first week, we met middle school student Sydney LeBoeuf, who ended up in the hospital for a week after she was bullied for months. Then, we met high school student Tanner Hantz who was also hospitalized after being bullied. 

After two weeks of traumatic stories, I sat down with Mark Morris, a licensed master social worker who deals with bullying victims on a daily basis. I learned a lot through my conversation with him, including the fact that Facebook is where a lot of bullying takes place today.

He brought up several important questions in our interview. What are we, as a society, doing to help? Are we doing everything we can? He said being in the mental health field, he is very concerned with the amount of bullying cases they handle, especially since it can affect the long term mental health of children. 

If a licensed master social worker who deals with these children on a daily basis is concerned, shouldn't we be concerned?

Bullying is obviously not what it used to be. Ten, 15 or even 20 years ago, if someone called you a name, your parents may have told you to get over it. But times have changed. Things aren't handled that way anymore, and bullying has evolved. It comes in different forms now, specifically via social media. 

This week, we'll talk to another victim. Her name is Callie, and she's the sister of Tanner. It's probably not often bullying victims come from the same family, but they've both been through a lot in recent years. Callie also spent time in the hospital after being bullied. 

Throughout the series we have not released the names of any of the schools these students attend, nor have we released the names of any accused bullies. And we won't. That's not the focus of this series. 

The series will wrap up in two weeks when we talk to the Calcasieu Parish School Board. I sat down to ask some tough questions. What is the policy and procedure for bullying accusations? Are all schools required to follow the same protocol? The answers might surprise you. 

If you have any questions about any of my stories or about the topic, feel free to e-mail me at hcarter@kplctv.com

To read my last Reporter's Notebook on Bullying, click here

-- Holly Carter, KPLC

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