MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCBD) - Most students will head back to school for the 2018-2019 school year on Monday, August 20th.
News 2's Laura Smith spoke with a family therapist about how parents can prepare their child for difficult situations, such as bullying.
In 2006, former Governor Mark Sanford signed the Safe School Climate Act into law. It protects students from bullying, harassment, and intimidation.
David Kalergis, Lowcountry Family and Children therapist, says the best thing parents can do is have an open conversation with their child about bullying.
"Ask them what do you do if you are being bullied or see another kid being bullied," said Kalergis.
He says the problem is most students are too embarrassed to report or admit they have been bullied. Not having the conversation can lead to long term health problems.
Kalergis says bullying is more common in middle school and high school. Three common types of bullying include: verbal, social, and physical. Cyberbullying is also very common these days.
"It can lead to self harming behavior, such as suicidal thoughts, destructive behavior, running away, and dropping grades," said Lowcountry Family and Children therapist David Kalergis.
A bullied student may have new cuts and bruises, diminished appetite, frequent isolation from friends and family, and nightmares.
Kalergis suggests parents begin the back to school routine now.