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Kimberly Houk Reporting Educators and members of the community are coming together to make playgrounds safer for students. They all agree that bullying is a problem. A KSL Eyewitness News Investigation caught on tape students being bullied on the playground while monitors were caught not paying attention. Now school officials are doing something about it.
They've put together a group of professionals on a task force geared towards finding a solution. Step number one, they're trying to figure out what kind of data is out there. How many kids are being bullied? And what can the schools do to stop it?
A spokesperson for the Department of Health suggested adding a new question to the report they have students fill out if they're injured at school.
Cyndi Bemis, Dept. of Health: "We don't ask, ‘Did it happen while you were being bullied?’ We think by adding that question we can perhaps open a dialogue. Make children feel more comfortable. Maybe they'd feel ok telling the school nurse or the school secretaries."
A representative from Primary Children's Medical Center is focusing on finding out if young kids who come in to be treated for injuries were victims of bullying.
Ryan Barrett, Primary Children's Medical Center: "We looked at data with why kids end up at Primary Children's, and we just saw this as a problem - not just with the injuries that were occurring, but also long term psychological issues with depression and that sort of thing."
This group is also focusing on forms of bullying that aren't physical. They're finding that many kids are being harmed with malicious gossip, or being excluded from certain peer groups at school -- types of bullying that experts say are just as damaging.
This is just the first of many meetings to come, and hopefully this group will come up with a way to help kids feel safer at school.