WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 08, 2011, 03:03 PM

Do girls bully differently than boys?

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - We've heard a lot about bullying lately. It was just more than four months ago that Cassidy Andel of Cooperstown, tragically took her own life after being cyber bullied. Tonight teachers, counselors and parents take a new look to prevent other tragedies: Do girls bully differently than boys?

Relational aggression or female bullying is much different then male bullying. Tonight, school counselors laid out just what those differences are and how to tell if your kid is being bullied, or might be the bullier.

SARAH KLIMEK - Elementary Counselor: “Boys kind of duke it out and it’s over and done with. Girls typically do it in a more underhand or sneaky way where they do rumors, name calling, exclusion.”

The old adage that sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me was put to rest tonight. Elementary and Middle School counselors spoke this evening at Discovery Middle School about the dangers of female bullying.

RACHEL JOHNSON - Was bullied in school: “I had everyone turn on me, I was all by myself. I had dog food thrown at me and a dog collar given to me. It was hard; I didn't know where to turn. I tried to keep a lot of it bottled up because I didn't want to tell anybody, I didn't want it to get worse.”

Rachel's experience may be different than others, but it rings an all too familiar tone with many parents.

AMY WIELAND - Parent of Bullied Child: “I have a 12-year old daughter who is in 7th grade who is facing many situations at school that I would consider bullying. Lots of Facebook messaging and some text messages too.”

Bullying has taken on a whole new form today, with cyber bullying and text bullying becoming terms counselors and parents are all too familiar with.

RACHEL JOHNSON - Was bullied in school: “Anonymity of it. Everybody, I mean you can say something you can't say to someone’s face and get away with it. You have a lot more confidence when you don't have to look someone in the eye to say something.”

Studies show an estimated 30-percent of kids are involved in bullying with the highest percentage of bullying taking place in the third grade. Counselors say the most important thing you can do to prevent it, is to keep lines of communication open between you and your children.