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What Makes a Child a Bully? It Usually Starts at Home



April 30, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. - It's an issue that continues to dominate the headlines locally and nationally: the ongoing problem of bullying in our schools.

Clinical psychologist Alden Ramsey says that to prevent bullying, we must first understand where the behavior is coming from. She says it's typically learned in the home.

"A way of communicating through intimidation is usually learned through modeling, especially with children. Parents and their marriage, their communication, it's usually learned through the communication of the parent."

While the experiences of children vary widely, high school junior Sarah Brady says it really all boils down to "The Golden Rule" - do unto others as you would have done unto you.

"I definitely would stress how important it is to be kind. You don't know what people are going through. Everyone has problems, a life behind like what you see at school, what you see on the computer, and it's just so important to reach out to everyone, no matter what."

On Tuesday, the Governor's Task Force on the Prevention of Bullying will convene at Apollo High School in St. Cloud for two listening sessions. The first will focus on student input. The second will offer parents, teachers and community members a chance to weigh in. Other listening sessions are expected in May in Mankato, Duluth and the Twin Cities.

More information on the Governor's Task Force is at mn.gov.

John Michaelson/Bill De Armond, Public News Service - MN