ASCENSION PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) — The Ascension Parish Student and Safety First Committee met this week to discuss how to fix the issue of bullying and help prevent suicide. They said the first step is to prioritize the students’ mental health.
“It’s a nationwide issue but it is absolutely in issue in Ascension Parish,” said Jackie Tisdell, Ascension Public School public information officer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 19 percent of Louisiana students experience bullying.
Parents in Ascension Parish are turning to social media to call for a change. One mother wrote online that her son is now doing homeschooling after experiencing bullying in the classroom. Another wrote nothing was done by the school after reporting the bullying.
“In Ascension Parish anywhere from 26 all the way up to 36 percent of our middle and high schoolers need mental help,” said Tisdell.
The Student and Safety First Committee met on Tuesday to find solutions. The schools plan to hold extra activities to engage students on prevention.
“We’re going to work with the sheriff’s office and Crime Stoppers to bring law enforcement and talk to kids and bring good information there,” said Tisdell.
According to a study by Ascension Parish Public Schools, in-school suspensions are increasing yearly, but the number of confirmed bullying cases are low.
“Currently this school year we only have one confirmed case in quarter one of bullying and when you have 24,000 students, that’s a very small amount,” said Tisdell.
The school system encourages students and parents to say something if they see something.
“We don’t want any child to feel uncomfortable or unsafe in any of our buildings,” said Tisdell.
Bullying at Ascension Parish schools can be reported here.