Is bullying a problem in Central New York? It is if you ask Misty Church who says her son was bullied for walking on the wrong side of the road.

Ben, who is a 6th grader in Wampsville, needed stitches after three kids ganged up on him. His mother Misty says three 8th graders bullied her son. "One of them punched him in the face, then they stood and watched him bleed and cry before walking away. All because Ben would not walk on the other side of the road."

Misty Church
Misty Church

Misty says this behavior is "unacceptable" and they "have filed charges against the  students and notified the school district. I admit I wanted to raise mischief with the parents but the best way to handle this is to raise awareness and try and put an end to bullying."

"We're never going to put a stop to bullying but we can try," says Ben.

Misty isn't the only parent dealing with bullying. A father wrote to tell us his daughter is getting spit on while riding the bus.

"My wife and I went to the school and were told the schools are not in control of the buses. So we went to the bus garage and they said if it's happening in school then they will be split up.  The bus garage turned it around back to the school and this was an issue last year too. Now its happening again 8 days into school. When are they really gonna make this a issue ? When somebody seriously gets hurt."

According to a CDC study, 20 percent of high school students reported being bullied at school. New York has anti-bullying laws and policies and any schools receiving federal funding is required by federal law to address discrimination and/or bullying.

The New York Department of Education even passed the Dignity for All Students Act and released a state model policy for schools to follow. It is "designed to not only decrease incidents of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, but help students build more supportive relationships with one another by integrating the prevention and intervention program into classroom instruction."

All the bullying blame shouldn't fall on the schools and teachers. The prevention needs to begin at home. One town is even fining parent for their kid's repeated bullying behavior according to Parenting.

"The ordinance allows police to notify parents in writing of a bullying incident, and then ticket them if they're caught bullying again within 90 days. Including court costs, multiple infractions could amount to a fine of $124."

If children aren't taught bullying isn't acceptable behavior at home how will they know any better?

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