Sexual assault used to be such a taboo issue that it wasn’t even covered by the media. Those affected by sexual assault would often hide in shame, but as it has becomes more public, young people are flocking to their Facebook and Twitter accounts to call names and take sides.
Researchers at the University of Kansas have been hired by the State Department of Education to develop a model anti-bullying policy for use in schools statewide.
All Kansas schools must have an anti-bullying policy, but coming up with effective policies and practices to meet that requirement can get complicated. Researchers at the University of Kansas plan to launch a statewide series of meetings in October to present educators with a model policy to build their own programs around.
A city council committee has endorsed an ordinance that would outlaw bullying throughout Kansas City, Missouri. As with the city's youth curfew, the onus falls on parents.
The 14 school districts in the city already have policies to protect students from being bullied, as is required by Missouri law.
The problem, says Councilman Scott Taylor, is that school districts' anti-bullying policies are only enforceable on school property. And bullying is not confined to school grounds, especially in the age of the Internet, where online humiliations have even led to suicides.
Yesterday, the Sioux City Journal in Iowa did something it had never done before. It devoted the entire front page of its Sunday paper to an editorial. The headline, "We Must Stop Bullying, It Starts Here and It Starts Now." That editorial came soon after a 14-year-old Iowa boy named Kenneth Weishuhn committed suicide. He had been subjected to bullying and death threats after he told friends he was gay.
Mitch Pugh is editor of the Sioux City Journal and he joins me now.
Lots of kids get bullied. But kids with autism are especially vulnerable.
A new survey by the Interactive Autism Network found that nearly two-thirds of children with autism spectrum disorders have been bullied at some point. And it found that these kids are three times as likely as typical kids to have been bullied in the past month.
Schools across the country are grappling with how to address bullying, a problem that's provoked some teenagers to suicide.
Two area theaters for young audiences are staging plays about bullying this month, and in the case of a new play at Theatre for Young America, specifically tackling bullying against the disabled with a disabled actor in its cast.