Almost 50% of middle school students in Vernon are being bullied.
That's what school officials found out when they conducted a survey back in April but this upcoming school year the staff will focus on three things to lower that number.
The shocking number of kids who claimed to be victims in the survey has had school officials digging for a solution more than ever before.
"This year because we had planned to do the survey so we could know where our needs were, we have spent more time and we're going to spend more time this summer," said Marilyn Leasure, Vernon ISD's Assistant Superintendent.
Leasure said that after getting feedback from parents, the staff has come up with three things they need to focus on more to tackle bullying.
"I think if we can lower it any percentage, two, three, 10, 12, 50%, that would be great for us," said Leasure.
First, a program called Keystone will kick off at the elementary school when classes start.
Leasure said, "It helps to address those areas of social development that students learn as they come to school and are around children their own age and how to get along, how to work together."
The schools will continue to have parent meetings twice a month, but every meeting will focus on a topic that has been suggested by parents who want to learn how to talk to their kids about bullying.
Leasure also said health education is vital, even if the state doesn't require schools to teach it.
"When we look at our health curriculum and the things that we are expected to teach, we need to make sure that as we address those we draw in these concerns that have surfaced," said Leasure.
Teachers will also try to spend more time in the hallways during class changes to keep an eye out for any incidents that may happen. The Schools Health Advisory Council will meet one more time before school starts to make sure they're confident with their plan moving forward.