JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Since Action News aired amateur video this week purported to show a brutal beating of Aria Jewett at the hands of another female Oceanway Middle School student, our newsroom has been getting inundated with parents contacting us with personal stories of their children getting bullied at school.
We took your questions about why this is happening and what can be done to an expert in dealing with these situations.
"A lot of kids don't know how to cope with that," said Dr. Tabitha Johnson, a local psychologist and therapist who helps families cope with bullying.
She says bullying cases went up about 5 percent last year. While extreme bullying can result in the physical harm we documented in local cases recently, psychological bullying is much more common in your child's school.
"We see it far more in females in terms of the relational and the cyber-bullying. That's really become the hub for girls to bully, unfortunately," said Johnson.
And even when proof of bullying exists online, some times parents won't admit their child could possibly be a bully.
So, how should you deal with another parent who insists their child is not a bully?
"Being up front with that parent is the only thing you can do. But having that conversation that maybe they don't want to believe that their child is involved with it," Dr. Johnson answered, "But just some awareness, some education that it is so prevalent that unfortunately, it might be your child that's being the bully."
Experts say children who witness violence in their own homes are more likely to become bullies. Regardless of who the bullies are, the CDC calls the issue "a major public health problem."