WRAL’s Dan Haggerty talks with local students about their experiences with bullying in light of the suicide of a 13-year-old at Wendell Middle School.
News coverage you can count on. >> All rights to all. Hello. welcome back. I’m Dan Hagerty and this is in depth as we spend a little bit more time on the stories, the people that matter to you and that e-mail community, Dan at WRAL DOT COM. Please join the conversation as we continue to discuss our children and their mental health. I met with some of the children, their parents and some professionals here to talk about mental health and suicide. The timing of this is no coincidence. Whisper sorry when the boy on your screen died 13 8th graders of suicide at his middle school in Wendell. We have a part last night online. We discussed the difficulties families face in finding care or getting an appointment with a therapist. You can find it in the in-depth section of the WRAL website which will search the WRAL YOUTUBE channel after the clip. I have received this email from JC. Not saying that mental health and awareness issues are not valid concerns, Dan said. But to associate it with the death of this little boy. It seemed like a little epidemic to me. Ask WEEK district school administrators what they have to say about Austin PENDERGRASS and the case of bullying specifically. I even got a few emails just like this confirming some opinion about the school. When she got it, Austin’s grieving mom said her son had been bullied. But we don’t know any of the specifications or any details about what was going on in his life or in his mind. We probably will never do that. I understand your desire to know more might help in some way, but as a journalist in this case, it is irresponsible to investigate this family’s tragedy in the media and even less responsible to speak of it. But we do know that bullying can be a contributing factor in situations, and I had two kids on my group team, seventh and eighth graders, talking about their experiences of being bullied at school. If you tell if you say something to a teacher or to the school, do you notice any change or seem to move now? >> I want to pair it up in the 3rd class and my mother tried many things even after the primary and there is hardly any change, this is what I was doing. >> Activated through like the third degree through the fourth degree of me and my principle. We were very close. So I know that’s not a reason for everything. It took time to change things. For me, they eventually changed. >> Ok, so someone saw the change. No one saw any change in the results. Very, every case is unique and complex. Again, dealing with children and schools, things have changed a lot since my generation was in school. Wake up County, for example, is tracking bullying. They have campaigned against expanding the Step Two program that teaches kindness and emotional management. They started in kindergarten. There is a line of tips for bullying and guidelines to investigate. And teachers in the personal interview to find out what they think of what they see from 2020 to 2022. About one in every 3 teachers in our state. I think bullying is a problem after school. that said that problem. bullying. It is always public. Can they be hidden from schools, peers and parents on social media. Victims can be isolated. Polly can follow them around the house, wait for them when they wake up in the morning and look at their phone. Now you know, having pointed it out, why not talk about the phone in the room and this mental health report from the Child Brain Institute that considers more than half a dozen studies on smartphones and social media. He says when he comes to the children. There was also evidence that overeating had a negative impact on self-esteem and life satisfaction. This social media use is also associated with an increase in mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and suicide. On. Seventh grade. He said yes or someone else already knew they had their phones, their social media accounts and all that. Like 95 of the people I know have social media. >> And understand phones all day long. Yes one. >> Just a quick side note for that little girl out there. Lily and her mother were sitting right next to her. She is the head of mental health programs at WAKE. not shiny. She joins us there to finish her daughter Lily does not have social media. So, the chief medical officer of one of the best hospitals in the country who specializes in behavioral and mental health is not allowing her daughter to use social media. It’s almost as if she realized there were some other people ignoring her. Oh never mind. TIKTOK is really fun. Let me know what you think of all this. Email me at DAN at WRAL DOT COM. Help me navigate this topic. You can always find me on social media. Just search for DAN HAGGERTY. Yes, I grumble the sarcasm of it. And the complexity of this issue is something I’m all too familiar with and the need to listen to these conversations, in the past couple of days I’ve had a lot of people share very personal issues with me via email. I called someone into my office today and they told me a heartbreaking story about their struggle with their daughter, her mental health, and finding their care. We need to confront why the National Suicide Prevention Line is up 45% after changing the numbers 2, 9, 8, 8, all the publicity got. You can look at this statistic in a few different ways, but one thing is for sure that more people are opening up for help. 9 Today should be a number that everyone automatically knows is 9, 1, which they want. Keep email accessible. We will continue this