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      Bullying a deadly threat to kids

      (48 Hours study) - Words can hurt - and sometimes even kill.

      Bullying is one of the deadliest threats to our children today.

      We've reported on serious bullying and hazing incidents in Hannibal, Fort Madison and, most recently, Quincy.

      The CBS show "48 Hours" is planning a national call-to-arms against bullying in our schools *and* online.

      Dara Genovese is twelve years old and already receives death threats.

      The middle school student faces a daily onslaught of hateful messages from classmates.There's even a fan club online devoted to getting Dara to kill herself.

      Dara Genovese said, "I would walk into class and they're like, 'Oh, we would hope you were dead.'"

      Here's the scary part, she's not alone. She's just one of hundreds of thousands of kids across the country beset by bullying at school and online.

      Another bullied teenager is Johnny Cagno. he said, "When you're tortured every single day, it gets to you and that's what the bullies do."

      Genovese said, "It makes you feel like you're less of a person."

      Cagno said, "They got inside my head, you know. I would say, 'If I kill myself, I don't have to deal with this, you know. I won't have to deal with the bullies every day.'"

      We talked with 48 Hours Tracy Smith Thursday. She says Dara Genovese and Johnny Cagno are part of a trend that's become alarmingly common today.

      Smith said, "Technology has allowed bullying to expand beyond the school day and around the clock....into the homes and cell phones of bullied kids. It happens on social networking sites and via text messaging. That's where kids tend to be more cruel to their victims."

      In many cases it's even turned deadly. Cynthia Logan's Daughter Jessie committed suicide at age 18.

      Cynthia Logan said, "I walk into the room, and I turn to the closet and there is my baby hanging|"

      Logan said, "Her friends failed her - The school failed her - And the law failed her."

      For kids like Jessie Logan, it's too late. For others, like Dara Genovese, there's still hope.

      School social worker Liz Vachon said, "Every school has a bullying problem and every school has to learn to deal with it. Let's fix it. Let's try to fix it."

      This is just a small look at this problem. Friday September 16, "48 HOURS" will look at the growing numbers of cases, and the sometimes deadly impact of bullying.

      Most important, experts will discuss what you can do to help.

      That's right here on KHQA, tomorrow evening starting at seven.

      will look at the growing numbers of cases, and the sometimes deadly impact of bullying.

      Most important, experts will discuss what you can do to help.

      That's right here on KHQA, tomorrow evening starting at seven.

      It's an hour no parent, child, teacher, coach or police officer should miss.

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