LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In Clark County, reports of school bullying have been rising according to Kat Sandigo, Anti-Defamation League education specialist.
"The school district took in about 10,000 reports of bullying last year," Sandigo said.
She said that number has increased from 6,000 in the prior year and a report from the National Center for Education Statistics, N.C.E.S., surveying middle and high school students from 2005 to 2017 showed that nationwide less than half of students who are bullied will tell an adult about it.
"Bullying spans all groups of people," Sandigo said.
The N.C.E.S. report shows that bullying affects different groups of people at different rates.
Girls are more likely to be bullied than boys, 23.8% to 16.7% respectively, but boys are more likely to be physically bullied, pushed, tripped, and spit on, at 6.1% to 4.4% respectively.
Sandigo said cyberbullying in the modern tech era has changed bullying completely turning it into a 24/7 hassle for victims.
"10, 15 years ago, you could leave school and you were away," she said, "you were gone from the bullies."
Cyberbullying affects L.G.B.T. students at double the rate it impacts heterosexual students at 27% to 13% respectively.
Equality Nevada Co-Founder Trevor Harder said parents need to talk with their kids before school starts to prepare them for bullying, and during school to ensure that they're protected from bullies.
"Don't downplay it," Harder said, "it's something that's serious, and students do feel very disempowered when they say that they're being bullied."
Harder and Sandigo both said that there are subtle signs a parent can detect to let them know their kid is a victim of bullying like a sudden drop in grades, a change in interest or mood, and a loss of friends.
They said not noticing and acting to protect a child can lead to serious problems like depression, anxiety, and even suicidal ideations.
"The worst of all," Harder said, "if could be suicide."
Resources have been put in place for both parents and students to get help in the event their student is a victim of chronic bullying.
Sandigo said anyone in Clark County can file an anonymous report through safevoicenv.org , and it will be sent directly to police officers and school administrators to begin an investigation.
She said the anti-defamation league also stands ready to inform parents about their options to stop bullying, and counselors there will act as a middle-man between school administrators and victims of bullying.
Harder said Equality Nevada has resources on their website, equalitynv.org , for parents and students to get help.
He also urged any LGBT child experiencing suicidal thoughts to reach out to The Trevor Project at thetrevorproject.org where trained counselors are available 24/7 to help a child get through a potentially deadly period in their lives.