How to deal with bullying - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

How to deal with bullying


WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Bullying has quickly attracted the national spotlight. It has serious consequences ranging from kids missing school to suicides.

Newsline 9 recently looked at the impact of bullying and how victims struggle to overcome it. Now, we dig for solutions.

Students at Maine Elementary School in Wausau are learning at a young age how to combat bullying. Third graders recently took part in the YWCA "Bullying is NEVER Cool" program. It's a hands-on, interactive experience to learn how to respect and include each other.

The YWCA program takes place in schools across the region. It addresses the issue of bullying, how to deal with it, and how to help get rid of it. 

Ruth Sazama, YWCA youth program director, conducts the class.

"We just want to supplement what the schools are doing," said Sazama.

With third graders, she says she keeps it simple. She helps them learn how to effectively tell a bully to stop instead of just fighting back.

"We stick to the basic ‘I message,'" said Sazama. "‘I don't like it when you make fun of me.'"

Students also learn to tell an adult what's going on when the situation becomes too intense.

"There are a lot of times a third or a fifth grader or a seventh grader cannot do it by themselves," said Sazama.

Wausau School District leaders say programs like this can do a lot.

"We affect the attitude of one child, I think we're making a difference," said Jeff Lindell, director of pupil services.

But bullying affects children at all grade levels, and it may be more serious. Experts say parents should be alert and talk to their children. If they discover a problem, they should document the bullying, get to know the school's policies, and, if necessary, get help from police.

Sazama hopes her classes will keep students from ever getting to that point.

"I had a teacher who confided in me after working with her class that her son had had me a couple weeks before, and he actually was being bullied," said Sazama. "He tried some of the technique that I told him, and it was working."

And she says that's the goal—helping students confidently handle tough situations and stand up against bullies, to make school a safer place.

A fundraiser will take place Friday, November 18, from 6-9 p.m. at the City Grill in at 203 Jefferson Street in Wausau. Money raised will benefit the "Bullying is NEVER Cool" program. For more information, visit

For more information about dealing with bullying and getting help, visit

Online Reporter: Daniel Woodruff

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