There's a big problem at schools in Vernon that can impact kids both physically and mentally.
It's bullying. Kids are being bullied on the fields, classrooms and hallways in the schools in Vernon. Middle school counselor Sarah Hernandez said bullying has been an ongoing problem in the last few years.
A 1,000 middle and high schoolers filled out a wellness and safety survey last month and 49% of the kids in middle school said they had been bullied in the last year. Twenty percent of high school students had the same answer.
"I was surprised by the results and thought that our parents and community would be surprised as well," said Hernandez.
But when it comes to how severe the bullying is, educators are in dark.
"Students awareness of being bullied may take a lot of different forms. It could be a one time thing or it can be ongoing and there was no definition for them to go by," said Marilyn Leasure, Vernon ISD's Assistant Superintendent.
School officials decided to reach out to parents because they would be crucial in the battle against bulling. Hernandez sent out e-mails and made phone calls. She even posted the survey results on the district's website with access to a comment box where parents could leave some feedback. Only 25 parents left a comment.
"We've had two parent meetings to give an opportunity to parents to give us feedback and only a total of 15 parents have attended the two meetings," said Hernandez.
But these concerned educators are not going to give up trying to get parents involved so they can tackle bullying.
Vernon ISD officials will be discussing with parents their new ideas to tackle the bullying problem in the next school year. A meeting will be held next Thursday at the Wilbarger Auditorium at 6p.m. A free meal will be given to those who attend.
You can see the results of the "Youth Risk Survey" by clicking on this link: http://www.vernonisd.org/VISD%202013%20VMS%20and%20VHS%20%20Student%20Risk%20Survey%20Results.pdf