Bullies make life miserable for children in every school district.
Parents report it, principals punish it...so why does it keep happening?
While the act of bullying will probably never go away, there are ways to battle it.
We recently learned the Hannibal School District has hosted three bullying forums, but they were poorly attended.
The district plans more forums in the future.
One of the number one weapons in combating bullying is the information on how to spot and deal with it.
Les Edwards was bullied a little bit when he was younger, and he decided to do something about it. He started training in martial arts, and he quickly learned he didn't need his hands or feet to fight a bully.
"I see what it does to a child emotionally. A lot of it starts with some simple confidence," says Edwards.
The confidence he got from martial arts taught him so much more than the actions he learned.
"Holding their head up, making eye contact with this person or persons that are doing this to them. And showing them I'm not going to put up with this," says Edwards.
Edwards says knowing he could defend himself gave him the confidence to not use his hands and feet. In fact, he's never had to defend himself physically. Emotionally, he says he does it everyday. Edwards says verbal confidence will stay with you even into the workplace.
"Just stand up and be a voice. If you're a person who is witnessing a situation. All it takes is one person to stand up to that bully and say stop," says Jenni Edwards.
Nationwide, the American Taekwondo Association sees bullying as a national problem. That's the case in most school districts too. The Hannibal School District has hosted three bullying forums so far this year, but few parents show up.
"The main purpose is informational so people know what to look for, what to do, know what to talk to their kids about. The other is to talk and share with us. Are there issues? Do we need to be looking at something?" says Hannibal Superintendent Jill Janes.
Jill Janes isn't discouraged by the low turnout of the forums. She says you can never have too much information, and since the program is new, she expected low numbers. The district will continue the bullying forums, and Janes hopes once the word gets out, the participation will grow.
The next bullying forum in Hannibal is scheduled for the first week of May.
Jill Janes says the High School and Middle School are working on a combined forum they hope to have it scheduled within the next month.
By the way, space is limited in the Edwards ATA seminar, you're asked to call ahead 1-573-248-0500 and reserve a spot.
People are continuing to talk about bullying on our Facebook fan page, so feel free to join in here or post your comments below.