'Girls Guide to End Bullying' offers solutions to girls going back to school

CINCINNATI - As Tri-State students head back to school this week, most are excited to see their friends. Some though return with a sense of dread because that is where they face bullying. If you think boys are bad, experts say girls can be brutal.

It happens at Friday night football games, in the halls between classes, but most of what girls do to bully other girls is subtle.

Ally, Claire and Gloria are sophomores at a local high school.  They talked with us about what they've seen and experienced in their school.

Experts say the most common type of bullying among girls is verbal bullying.  The girls say that while verbal bullying and leaving someone out can be hurtful, electronic bullying can be much worse.

"With social media you're not really face to face so it's so much easier to bash on someone, especially on Twitter or something, like I've seen it . It's an easy way to just degrade someone," said Gloria.

Digs and slams are rampant through indirect tweeting and questions on the site Ask.fm.

Ask.fm  is a controversial question and answer app that's been implicated in several fatal instances of cyber bullying, most recently a 16-year-old girl in Florida.  Teens sign on through Twitter and Facebook and ask questions of each other, anonymously.

"You can look at every question that that person has been asked and you can look at their answers- anything goes," said Claire.

Next month Ask fm is adding a bullying/harassment button to investigate any reports of abusive behavior within 24 hours.

"The people sitting there are just as much as a bully as the people that are doing it because they're not speaking up and they're not doing anything about it," said Ally.

That is why Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center, along with Secret deodorant, created an anti-bullying curriculum called the “Girls Guide to End Bullying.”

Dr. Ryan Adams of Children’s and his team of researchers did months of research at Anderson, Oak Hills, and Colerain High Schools to come up with the program.

High school can be tough for teen girls, but the bystanders of bullying that can make things better or worse.

His curriculum addresses 5 types of bullying:

  • Physical
  • Verbal
  • Sexual
  • Relational
  • Cyber

The curriculum offers solutions, such as not laughing at a bully’s tactics to dissuade their actions.

Other solutions are offered in videos that show how to spot bullying and what students can do about it.

Overall Dr. Adams hopes the program addresses long-term problems that result from bullying before they become real issues.

“Early bullying is predictive of later depression, anxiety or acting suicidal,” Dr. Adams stated.

To watch the videos, and participate in the program, visit http://girlsguidetoendbullying.org/about.html.

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