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Putting A Stop To Bullying

Experts say not to be frustrated.
WINDBER, SOMERSET COUNTY - Multiple national reports have linked bullying to the recent school shooting in Nevada. With October being National Bullying Awareness month, one local institute is hoping this tragedy raises red flags.
 
 “I think sometimes people think it's too big of a problem and when they see tragic instances they think ‘What can we do?” There are things we can do and there are things that you as an individual can do, steps you can take to make your family safer,” Windber Research Institute Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Manager Shiryl Barto says.
 
For the last 15 years the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the Windber Research Institute has been working on bullying prevention.
 
They say 9 to 20 percent of all students are involved in bullying, and it's the kids being bullied that end up getting most of the attention.
 
“Victim blaming is still an area where we fall down as a society when we respond to bullying. So it's important for kids to understand what's happening to them isn't their fault,” Barto says.
 
Bill Latchford has launched a number of anti-bullying campaigns in the Tyrone area. He says the problem is only getting worse.
 
 “We have children that are dying so this is something that needs to be known and needs to be more aware of,” Bill Latchford says.
 
And social media, and other technological advances haven't made it easier.
 
“Cyberbulling and bullying go hand and hand these days so it’s a non-stop 24 hour, 365 days a year attack on these people,” Latchford says.
 
But experts say frustration isn't an option, and there is still plenty of work to be done.
 
“There are things that we can do that make a positive difference in the lives of children and that's what we need to concentrate on,” Barto says.

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