How Huntsville City Schools deals with bullying

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --  WHNT News 19 reported about a Colorado mom who said school bullies are to blame after her son killed himself.  She said her nine-year-old told his classmates he was gay, and kids bullied him.

In Wasington, a six-year-old is recovering from injuries after his mom said bullies beat him up when he stood up for a friend

These stories made us wonder how Huntsville City Schools deals with students being bullied. About 1 in 4 students experience bullying at their school, according to stopbullying.gov.

It`s a problem Huntsville City Schools recognizes and tries to stop through different initiatives.

"Just last year we updated our policy manual 6.11 in terms of bullying and harassment," Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Christie Finley explained.

The policy reads, in part, no student shall engage in or be subjected to bullying, harassment, or violence. Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary sanctions.

The school system has programs in place.

"For example, No Place for Hate," Finley said.

Superintendent Christie Finley says the program teaches students about bullying and what it is. It also explains to students what adults they can talk to about the problem.

"A school counselor, an adult in the building, a parent. We have been very proactive in messaging to parents and students ways we can support them to address the bullying, or if they have seen it," Superintendent Finley said.

Finley said Huntsville City Schools has taken another proactive step by having the collaborative classroom.

"It`s a reading resource in all our elementary classrooms. It has the component of reading, but the other component is the social and emotional piece. This is so students can understand through literature how to handle difficulties," Superintendent Finley said.

Finley said it`s important to have these conversations at school, but at home with your child too.

Last year, the school implemented a bullying report form online.  This is where you can report an issue directly to the school if a parent can`t get ahold of a someone in the school office.