By Ben Ward, Ozarks News Brief

SPRINGFIELD – Bullying can happen anywhere, at anytime, to anyone. For children in school this issue is magnified. In fact, one out of every four students are bullied according to the National Center for Education. These statistics also show only 11 percent of a students peers will intervene. Everyday, there are more than 160,000 students who don’t show up to school because they are afraid of being bullied.

House Rep., Sue Allen, of Town and Country Missouri decided to take action. She introduced House Bill 1583 requiring school districts to modify their anti-bullying policies. By the beginning of this school year every district had to address the definition of bullying and define cyber-bullying.

Future guidelines for teachers will be enforced. Beginning next school year, Missouri school districts will be required to have their educators attend a youth suicide prevention and awareness training in order to comply with the new state guidelines.

The Springfield School District says they have been pro-active and were already in compliance with the new guidelines. There have been fewer incidents since these guidelines were put into place.

“What I’ve noticed is that there isn’t as much bullies as I have noticed in other schools that I have been to,” says Skylar Newman, a junior at Central High School.

The district continues to be pro-active in talking to their students on a yearly basis. They sometimes have assemblies over bullying and anti-bullying and cyber-bullying.

If you or someone you know has been or are being bullied you can call The Missouri School Violence Hotline at (186) 748-7047.