Oct. 15, 2010 -- From the playground to the computer, bullying has been a rampant problem across the country. "20/20" co-anchor Chris Cuomo talked to families, kids, educators and lawmakers to find out what's going on in America's schools.
Although it's nothing new, bullying has been pushed to the forefront of a national debate after several recent cases surfaced of kids choosing to take their own lives because they couldn't take the bullying. Four teenagers who committed suicide because they were bullied came from one school district in Ohio.
According to the National Crime Prevention Council, about 160,000 kids won't go to school today for fear of being bullied. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 26 percent of 10-, 11-, and 12-year-olds come up against bullying -- either as victims or as bullies themselves. When passive bystanders are included in the numbers, 77 percent of third-graders fall into the "bully circle."
Resources on Dealing With Bullying:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' "Stop Bullying Now" Campaign: This government website offers various talking points about bullying -- from cyber-bullying to gay bashing -- broken down into a kids and adults section, complete with videos, quizzes and tips for getting help.
National Crime Prevention Council on Cyber-Bullying:An overview on what cyber-bullying is and how teens can be affected. A recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) report found that young victims of cyber-bullying are at much greater risk for depression than are the kids who bully them.
Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN): This national education organization fights to ensure safe schools for all students, with a focus on LGBT youth issues. Their wesbite includes multiple links on how to fend off and report bullies, and a call to action to school administrators to step in and stop bullying problems in their schools.
The Trevor Project: A Web site that hosts chat rooms and a 24-hour toll free confidential suicide hotline for gay teens and those who are questioning their sexuality.
Office on Women's Health: This government Web site is geared towards helping parents and caregivers talk to their pre-teen or teenage daughter about bullying.
PBS Kids, "It's My Life" Page: This very kid-friendly page explains to young users what it means to be a bully, the different kinds of bullying and how to spot bullies.