SHERMAN, TX -- Whether you've been bullied or regretful for being a bully in the past, the subject has become a hot topic in recent years.
For this Mom's Everyday Money segment, we look at how bullying can not only affect us emotionally, but economically as well.
Nine year old Ashlyn is an elementary school student at Henry W. Sory in Sherman who has a message about bullying.
'I feel like I can stand up to bullies, that I can say that I don't want to be bullied and that bullying is wrong and you shouldn't do it," she says. "And if you do get bullied I think you should stand up to yourself and tell them stop hurting me.'
Her mother and PTA president Stephanie Hammett took measures to protect Ashlyn against bullying early on.
"Ashlyn attends a local martial arts school and gets a lot of instruction there on how to stand up for herself and how to speak up and talk to adults and that's helpful too," said Stephanie.
According to experts like Marie Newman, co-author of "When Your Child is Being Bullied: Real Solutions", bullying is now, not just a huge social-emotional issue, it's also becoming an academic performance issue, a factor in criminal behavior and is driving economic issues at the community and school level.
Principal of Henry W. Sory Elementary, Steven Traw says, "it's actually state law, everyone in the district including every staff member, every child is educated on what bullying is and measures they can take to prevent it from happening."
That's why anti-bullying expert Marie Newman is taking a stand. "There are 13 million kids that are getting bullied every year which is really 13 million too many which is why Sears got involved to help families and communities," said Newman. "They have developed 'Team Up to Stop Bullying' which is an organization of 55 anti-bullying nonprofits and solution providers that are all housed in one trusted place at sears.com back slash team up."
Newman says this website will help put solutions and services directly into the hands of educators like Traw and parents and children like Stephanie and Ashlyn dealing with the bullying problem.
'While there are literally hundreds of solutions on the site, if a child is being bullied, they can come to the site and learn how to protect themselves from cyber-bullying," Newman said. "They can also learn how to develop effective responses for bullying situations. Parents can go there and really download some great tools and action plans to help them work with the schools and end their child's torment. And then finally, schools have a wide variety of solutions and solution providers they can choose."
Newman says there are lots of great tips online but if you find solutions anywhere, take it like Stephanie did for her daughter.
"Find something that your child is confident about," Stephanie says. "Children who are confident are much less likely to be a victim of bullying."
For more information on Team Up to Stop Bullying, go to http://www.sears.com/teamup. For tips on solutions, Marie Newman also co-authored a book called "When Your Child Is Being Bullied: Real Solutions" with J.E. Dimarco. You can see stories like this and more at http://www.momseveryday.com/texoma.