LISD students are tackling bullying

The Laredo ISD Guidance and Counseling Department is helping students stand up against bullying. Sixth through Eighth graders from Christen, Cigarroa, Lamar, and Memorial Middle Schools received an Anti-Bullying presentation provided by PILLAR, a local behavior health center.

With a total of 28 presentations and 4,233 students in attendance, PILLAR representatives hosted an informative presentation on the effects of bullying. “It’s extremely important for students to know about bullying, especially after the pandemic. They were secluded at home without much socialization for almost three years,” Licensed Professional Counselor for PILLAR Alexa Huerta said. “It’s important to have a conversation with students and educate them because the way they talk to each other does impact how they feel about themselves outside of social media. Talking to them helps them know the importance of their role to help reduce bullying among their peers, and that can also help reduce suicide.” 

The topics discussed included: the definition of bullying, types of bullying, how and who to report bullying, characteristics of a bully, what to do if a friend or someone you know is being bullied or is a bully, statistics on who bullies most, and the consequences of bullying.

Pillar Representative Dr. Gustavo Salazar stresses how crucial it is for students to understand how serious acts of bullying are, how to respond to it, and what they can do to prevent them. “Bullying is an important topic to discuss in schools. Students need to be more aware of the signs of bullying so that way they can take action in putting a stop to it,” Dr. Salazar said. “There are a couple of things that we notice with children who are being bullied. First, they start to withdraw from their friends and tend to be secluded. The student being bullied starts to lower their grades in school.” 

As explained by Dr. Salazar, bullying is an intentional aggressive behavior towards another person. Typically, the bully can cause cross intentional harm on the victim often making them feel terrible about themselves. He explains that in extreme circumstances, people who are bullied have so much emotional pain that they don’t know how to deal with it and often resort to harmful measures. 

“Due to the effects of bullying, they usually have symptoms of depression and anxiety. It’s important for one to be aware of what the person being bullied suffers from, become proactive and identify who is being bullied. My advice would be that if you’re a friend and you notice that a friend is isolating and not showing up to school, talk to them. Chances are they are being bullied. Also, help them report. Reporting is very fundamental. People who get bullied are usually afraid to say anything and then they suffer and when they start suffering, that’s when it gets worse.”

The LISD Guidance and Counseling Department continues to encourage any student, parent, or community member to report bullying or harassment incidents by talking to an administrator at the campus where the alleged bullying occurred or by completing an online anonymous form. The report will be immediately received by an administrator at the campus for investigation when submitted. In case of any incident that requires immediate attention after-school hours, it is recommended to contact the Laredo Police Department for immediate assistance. 

For more information, please contact the LISD Guidance and Counseling/At-Risk Population Department Director Rosina Silva at (956) 273-1263.