More CCSD Students Expelled for Bullying Issues

LAS VEGAS -- The Clark County School District suspended or expelled more than 1,700 students for bullying or intimidation during the last school year. That's a nearly 10 percent increase from the previous year.

It's a problem keeping school police and teachers busy. It was enough of a problem that Lance Parvin decided to start a special program that targets kids being bullied. He runs the non-profit Cultural Arts Training Foundation which offers specialized martial arts training.

"We started hearing stories. These are the issues people are having," Parvin said.

After numerous requests, he added the Child Empowerment Program which helps build a child's self esteem and gives them tools to avoid a physical confrontation.  

Bullying affects everyone from younger kids to teens.

"I've been bullied and I don't care who you are, everyone has been bullied at some point in their life," said Corey Taylor, who hosts a teen radio show.

It even impacts parents and teachers.

"We all know that bullying and harassment and intimidation are issues in Clark County and really across any school you go to," said A.J. O'Reilly, CCSD special educator.

Many agree bullying has been taken to a new level.

"I think we live in a new day. When I was growing up, we didn't have cell phones. We didn't have computers and the Internet. Nowadays the young people are communicating second by second, whether it's the cell phone or the iPad or their computer and I think there is a greater opportunity for misbehavior," Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said.

8 News NOW has learned that bullying appears to a problem particularly in middle school. Out of 24 schools which suspended or expelled students for bullying during the past two school years, 20 were middle schools.

"It's weird, it's like a transition period, but that seems to be when there is the most bullying," Parvin said.

Rick Egan at the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention agrees.

"I do believe our middle school children are most at risk. Because of that age group, I think that those individuals may need to be connected with resources more than others," Egan said.

Race car driver Taylor Barton, an anti-bullying advocate, speaks out against bullying because of his personal experience.

"I was so skinny, I was small. They used to call me squeaky voice," he said. "The names went on and on and it got worse into middle school."

National anti-bullying consultant Travis Brown, also known as Mr. Mojo, says he believes the numbers are higher because it's more likely to be reported in middle school. He's visiting four Clark County high schools this week to share his message with around 6,000 local students.

"My inbox gets flooded with messages from kids, of what they're going through, how many of them are cutting, what they're turning to, how to handle situations, I mean I literally get thousands of messages every year from students going 'help.'".

He says the majority of the messages are from high school students.

Parvin's program teaches kids how to de-escalate a situation.

"The key component is the verbal, the communication skills and understanding. Going out and learning martial arts is just a Band Aid on a bullet wound because then they tend to start acting out so we want to kind of prepare them that you're learning something, understand you have a responsibility," Parvin said.

He admits, there are times when the situation can get physical.

"I think there are certain realities. If someone is being attacked, they have a right to defend themselves."

A last resort for a lasting problem.

"I feel a lot better because I can protect myself if I'm getting hurt, pushed, teased or anything like that," 12-year-old Christian Abshier said.

 


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