PARMA, OH (WOIO) - It can be a shove into a locker, but these days bullying is not just physical abuse. It's emotional, it's verbal, it's any behavior that harms in any way.
"It can effect, most certainly, your self esteem and how you relate to other people," said Erin Gadd of the Parma schools.
The Parma Schools are taking the issue of bullying quite seriously and Gadd said a new program in the schools, Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports, is showing a great deal of promise.
"We support the positive behavior, model it, and help it to become ingrained in the culture of everything we do. Not only in our schools but in our community as well," said Gadd.
The program was first used at Valley Forge High and they saw significant positive results from an increase in the number of reported bullying incidents to a decrease in the number of fights and aggressive behaviors.
The program is specifically designed to stop bullying before it starts so it is being implemented in the early grades, "We're also trying to create this culture where their friends see it and then are helping them to get the help that they seek," said Gadd.
Parma students can also call the district's bullying report hotline at 1-(440)-886-7630 or use the report bullying boxes that are located in the each school.