STUDIO CITY (CBS) — An astounding 13 million American kids will be bullied this year, and 3 million students are absent each month because they feel unsafe at school.

Dr. Steven Gerali, clinical counselor and dean of the College of Theology at Grand Canyon University in Arizona, stopped by KCAL9 Wednesday to talk about stopping the cycle of bullying.


Bullying is much darker now than in past generations:

o Kids of past generations were taught to watch their language and conduct.
o Kids today take social cues from violence in the media, video games that champion blood-and-gore, and reality TV, all of which have normalized raunchy, aggressive behavior.

The Yale School of Medicine reports a strong connection between bullying and suicide:

o The suicide rate among 10-to-14-year-olds has risen more than 50 percent in the last 30 years.
o For every suicide, 100 more kids attempt to take their own lives.
o Studies indicate that bullying is linked to 75 percent of school shootings.

Victims of bullying experience terror and hopelessness they are ill-equipped to handle:

o Developmentally, teens are battling for autonomy. Being bullied is an assault on that autonomy, but telling an adult also threatens this independence.

Specific strategies for curtailing bullying: courage, vigilance and teamwork:

o Bystanders must place themselves physically between the bully and the victim.
o Teens should seek out and surround kids who seem vulnerable to bullying.
o Students must recognize and report instances of bullying, seeking adult intervention and teaming up with other students to end the cycle.

To learn more about Dr. Steven Gerali, click here.


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