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Published September 11, 2013, 10:30 PM

Area schools have plans in place to curb bullying

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - Just days into a new school year, a 12-year old girl in Florida has committed suicide after relentless cyber bullying. That story is shedding light on anti-bullying polices in F-M area Schools.

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - Just days into a new school year, a 12-year old girl in Florida has committed suicide after relentless cyber bullying. That story is shedding light on anti-bullying polices in F-M area Schools.

Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead School Officials tell me they take bullying seriously. Last academic year 22 cases of bullying were reported in West Fargo. Moorhead and Fargo numbers weren't available.

It's a saying that doesn't seem to hold much truth – “Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."

Thanks to technology, bullying is no longer just in the classroom instead students are taking it home with them. They're dealing with it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and text messaging. Auna Lee, a Moorhead student, says her best friend is being bullied this instant - a terrifying experience, one she hates to think about.

Auna Lee – Student: "I could tell that she's like not the same person after it's been happening."

Yet Lee says school officials are cracking down.

Auna Lee: "Sometimes over Twitter we can see pages that come up that try to bring people down. They'll try to take the page down or delete the page that has been created."

It's just another component of F-M area schools anti-bullying policies.

Jill Skarvold – Director of Learners Support Services: "Within our policy we talk about investigating a report within 24 hours."

Beth Slette – Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education: "They can report it by going to the principal or another adult in the school."

Education is key; School Resource Officers and Counselors are reminding students that for every action there is a consequence.

Beth Slette: "What kind of bullying is out there, how you report bullying and what you do if you're a victim of bullying and how to be a bystander that puts a stop to the bullying."

Lieutenant Joel Vettel with the Fargo Police Department says the reality is that bullying can lead to legal action.

Lieutenant Joel Vettel – Fargo Police: "We do have laws on the books referencing harrassment and stalking that do address the issues in a broader sense."

If you're interested in learning more about ways to stop bullying, click on the Easy Link tab.

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