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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

LAPD Visits School to Help Curb Bullying

Police say verbal abuse poses the greatest danger to mental well-being of schoolchildren.

LAPD officers visited an elemntary school Monday to speak to students and administrators about the problems of bullying.

Officers encouraged the children at Trinity Street Elementary School to speak out against bullying when they see it and not allow themselves to be abused without reporting it to a teacher or a parent.

"Generally the bullying we're seeing here in this level and at this school is the verbal kind, the degrading kind," said Captain Jorge Rodriguez.

Many students left the anti-bullying rally with more ideas on how to combat any abuse that they or others might suffer at the hands of school bullies.

"It helped me because now a lotof children know what to do," said fifth grader Jacqueline Dominguez. "I tell an adult, and I [can] be a friend."

According to some child therapists, children who face bullying on their own are more likely to feel symptoms of depression.

"Both youths and adults are at higher risk of suicide if they've been bullied," said Jayme Davis, a therapist at the Relational Center.

Last month, a 15-year old boy committed suicide after allegedly being the target of bullying at Crescenta Valley High School in Glendale. His parents blamed the physical and verbal abuse he suffered at the hands of fellow classmates for the tragedy.

"The last thing that a parent can do is not pay attention to their child," Rodriguez said, "and let this type of behavior get into a location where it'll be problematic for the kid, and it would eventually affect not only their school grades, but...the person they grow up to be."

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