Tri-City School Districts See Less Bullying

It's as common as a bell ringing for recess. Bullying is considered an unavoidable part of childhood.

But the severity of those attacks resulted in an anti-bullying law passed in Washington a couple years ago. The effects of the law are already seeing results, with school districts are now required to have at least one point person at every school who will handle bullying issues.

"I'm one of many people, what we talk about is providing students with support, and so the most important support is their family and parents," said Jack Williams, a Richland counselor.

Immediately after the change went into effect, districts in the Tri-Cities saw a decline in cases where kids were suspended for bullying.

Richland had the greatest drop while Kennewick had the least amount of kids expelled for bullying. A direct result in fewer fights.

"Children are reacting much more positively," said Williams.

Fights leading to suspensions also dropped off significantly in both Richland and Kennewick with Pasco schools seeing the only increase.

The district says it has a no tolerance policy on fighting -- so more kids may be tossed than in other areas.

A student in the Richland schools tells KEPR she has seen bullying firsthand.

"It makes me feel like it shouldn't be happening or I rather have it be me than them," said a 5th grader at Marcus Whitman Elementary.

The first step to resolving bullying is often just basic education to make students aware of how behavior can be hurtful.

"It gives us a chance to standout and tell or show people that we are against it not with it," said the 5th grader.

"It feels great, really feels great to know we are taking steps in the right direction," said Williams.