Report: Bullying Incidents Most Prevalent in Middle School - 8 News NOW

Report: Bullying Incidents Most Prevalent in Middle School

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Jordyn Boothe says he was bullied in middle school. Jordyn Boothe says he was bullied in middle school.
Del Webb Middle School counselor Cari Meyers. Del Webb Middle School counselor Cari Meyers.

LAS VEGAS -- The number of kids involved in bullying incidents in Clark County is going up. Last year, Clark County School District saw 1,736 cases of kids being suspended or expelled for bullying or intimidation.

Even though there have been some recent publicized events involving high school students, the issue of bullying is more prevalent among middle school students.

According to the latest Nevada Report Card, the top five schools in Clark County with the most students who were suspended or expelled for bullying were all middle schools. Lawrence Junior High School reported the most cases with 140 students being involved in bullying.

Bullying often goes on outside of the school on social media and other technology which become the weapons of choice. Jordyn Boothe, 15, says his middle school years were tough and he has the emotional scars to prove it.

"Calling me stupid and making fun of my clothes for not having the right clothes and not matching," Boothe said.

He was a victim of bullying and he's not alone. In Clark County, students in middle schools are now the most common targets for bullies, according to the latest statistics from the Nevada Department of Education.

"Not surprised at all," says Paula Naegle, the principal Del Webb Middle School.

She says the transition between elementary and middle school can be difficult for a lot of students and some end up taking out their problems on other kids. With social media so prevalent, the abuse can go far beyond school grounds.

"They type something that is mean online, they put it on Facebook with 400 friends. Those friends post to 400 more friends and it's exponential," Naegle said.

She says punishments for bullying range from detention to expulsion which is reserved for kids who get into physical fights or post inappropriate messages and pictures online. That kind of posting is now illegal under a new Nevada law.

"The consequence is important, but counseling for bullies is important too," Naegle said.

Boothe credits his family and his involvement in martial arts in helping him get through the bullying. His advice for other kids is to speak up and let people know if you're a victim.

"Tell a teacher. Tell an adult. Tell someone that's watching you, they'll get it fixed."

The CCSD's main website will also let students and parents report bullying incidents online. You can put in a victim's name, describe the incident, and do it anonymously.

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