Local Leaders Say "Community Culture" Needed To Combat Bullying

Lynchburg, VA - It's an issue we may all face at some point in our lives: bullying. Many may see it still in schools.According to a report released this week by the University of Virginia, 38 percent of Virginia high school students say bullying is a problem. Local programs like Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lynchburg and Big Brothers Big Sisters Central Virginia are reaching out to kids now. BGCGL executive director Mark Sheehan says his program uses a five-step process: first identifying a problem, if their is one, then explaining choices, who a child can turn to before picking a choice and reflecting.

Ash Gorman, executive director at Big Brothers Big Sisters, says "a child who has positive guidance and direction in their life is going to be a better decision maker and better equipped to handle different situations."

"I don't think it can be laid on the school and the school does everything. It can't be Boys and Girls Club does everything. I think it has to be a community culture," said Sheehan.

As for Lynchburg City Schools, posters will be placed inside each school this year, re-enforcing core values for students, such as respect and integrity.