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Chambersburg School Administrators Tackle Bullying

A recently published study in "Pediatrics" found that the negative mental and physical effects of bullying add up and get worse as time goes on.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A recently published study in Pediatrics found that the negative mental and physical effects of bullying add up and get worse as time goes on. That study also found that children and teens who are continuously bullied over time have worse mental and physical health compared to other students

Researchers are saying that is why early intervention is key, and at the Chambersburg Area School District, that is exactly what they are trying to do: stop bullying as soon as they hear about it.

"[Bullying] can cause [students] to want to avoid school, have symptoms of anxiety, depression things of that nature,” said Stan Shilling, who is a counselor at Chambersburg Area School District. “It can affect their relationships and their grades."

Bullying is something many parents have seen first hand. Chessie Clark's daughter, who attends Chambersburg Area Senior High School, has been bullied since elementary school.

"It’s getting to the point where she's coming home crying and it's not right for a kid to get bullied," said Clark.

The Chambersburg Area School District has recently been in the spotlight because of a cyberbullying incident.

Administrators say students were posting inappropriate comments about their peers online, comments that were re-posted on Twitter by one student.

"Some of the things that were being said and done were actually criminal,” said CASHS Principal Burdette Chapel. “Making threats, very intimate details about kids and relationships between kids that may or may not have happened. I mean it was very, very hurtful to kids."

Through their IT department, the school was able to catch the student who was responsible for the Twitter account. Chapel says they intervened because it was affecting the school’s learning environment.

"I owe the parents and I owe the community, the kids, the teachers to get involved,” said Chapel. “When they disrupt the educational process within the building, then they bring me into it and I’m going to do whatever it takes to solve it."

Chapel held an assembly about two weeks ago warning students about the consequences of bullying. He told them there are often serious mental effects on victims. Chapel also said he is not going to lose a student to bullying.

For more information about cyberbullying, click here

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