ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — As another school year gets underway, some parents will send their kids to school not knowing something critical about them.

That they are bullies.

Bryan Evans is Director of Mental Health Promotions for Mental Health America of eastern Missouri.

He says many bullies were bullied themselves, some do become aggressive and violent towards others while some particularly girls are mean spirited to their victims.

“But in addition, they may be persons who are social involved and connected and have some status if you will among their peers. They also will shift blame onto others, never accept responsibility and know how to manipulate the system.”

He says it doesn’t take long for a victim of bullying to possibly become a bully themselves. He says a preschooler who is a victim can start bullying others by the first grade.

He says while some parents struggle daily with inappropriate behavior, some believe the bullying behavior is all a part of growing up. Evans says it’s not and until we create an environment that does not condone such behavior victims and even the students who witness it, will all continue to go to school feeling unsafe and powerless.

Evans says children who witness violence develop feelings of fear and often believe they can’t say anything about what they see because they believe the bully can turn on them “on a dime.”

He says if your child comes homes and tells you about a fight they’ve seen, ask them how did they feel about it. And for parents of bullies, he says if you are getting called to school more than once, it’s time to educate yourself about bullying.

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