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TUSD highlights student resources during Bullying Prevention month

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 6:41 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Officials at Tucson Unified School District are raising awareness of bullying at school and online and giving parents signs to look out for in the midst of Bullying Awareness month. At southern Arizona’s largest school district, the bullying hotline and online reporting system are its most popular resources.

Alex Hinrichsen, TUSD school counselor, said the district is promoting students to speak out if they don’t feel safe. He said the past year has been extremely hard on students because of the pandemic and some kids are lashing out at others to cope with the emotions.

“In many cases, it’s students teasing one another and kind of bringing that trauma outside of school back into school,” Hinrichsen said.

Based on a survey, thousands of children report being bullied at TUSD every year.

TUSD students reported being bullied, grades 3-12:

  • 2020-2021: 4,000+
  • 2019-2020: 6,100+
  • 2018-2019: 5,800+

Hinrichsen said signs parents and peers should look out for are if your child isn’t eating, their grades are declining, they’re visibly upset or they have a fear of school. He recommends talking to your child about whether they’re being bullied and reach out for help.

“Talking to them about who their friends are, who a trusted adult is they can talk to on campus if they need to go to someone,” Hinrichsen said. “Sometimes kids are afraid to talk to their parents about it and they don’t want them to know they’re getting picked on at school because that’s a shameful event for them.”

Hinrichsen said starting with questions relating to a child’s social network then slowly asking for more information regarding who the bully is, often works well with children.

TUSD’s bullying hotline is 520-584-7676. You can also report bullying online here.

Hinrichsen said he recommends “The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig, “Enemy Pie” by Derek Munson, and “Wonder” by RJ Palacio for students being bullied. For educators or parents, he recommends “Please Stop Laughing At Me” by Jodee Blanco.

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