TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - On Tuesday, Lucas County kicked off three new methods to report cases of bullying.
A person is able to go to the Lucas County Sheriff's Office website and find a red stop sign that says, "Report Bullying Now." Click on the sign, fill out a couple of boxes with information and submit the report.
This is among several new methods that were launched Tuesday during a news conference in the lobby of Government Center.
Lucas County officials said in addition to online reporting, people can now text details of a bullying incident or directly call the anti-bullying hotline. A sergeant will review each tip that comes in and then notify the police agency where that particular bullying is happening.
"If you feel you can report it to someone that can actually take the law into their hands, you're going to have confidence that the bullying will cease," said Tina Skeldon Wozniak, Lucas County commissioner.
The sheriff said police involvement was the piece that was missing to all of this. Sheriff James Telb said he wants every bullying incident reported through these three methods.
"A lot of times we hear of incidents that were going on for two or three years, and then we read about a suicide. Well, if somebody would intervene early on, we might not have had that suicide," said Telb.
"This is a great tool for those out there who witness it, watch it," said Lisa Kovach, an anti-bullying expert.
Kovach is on the county's anti-bullying coalition. She said bullying takes many forms. It can be physical or emotional and take place in person or through the computer.
"It is intentional. It is persistent behavior that is geared for the sole purpose of hurting someone else," explained Kovach.
The number to call or text a bullying incident in Lucas County is 419-654-3425.