Pediatricians Tackle Bullying

One group of doctors is taking on bullying. They're coming out with some ideas on ways to halt the violence that 8 percent of kids say happens to them every day; another 7 percent say it happens every week.

CBS News correspondent Kelly Wallace reports that YouTube generation did not invent bullying, but has made it more visible.

Thousands of no holds barred videos are posted online. It appears the violence in them is getting worse.

Thirteen-year-old eighth grader Daniel Warburton can relate. He's been relentlessly bullied since the fourth grade. At first, it was name-calling.

He was called, "names like faggot, gay," Daniel said, "they would use very vile words."

Then last year, on the football field, it got physical. Daniel was repeatedly tackled to the point of unconsciousness by seven of his own teammates.

Daniel's mother, Jennifer Warburton says, "They just left him there. He was so afraid to say anything, that by the time the coaches got down to the field for practice, he just got up and went through the whole practice."

He told Kelly Wallace that when it comes to bullying, people don't really get it.

"They think it's just something that happens, oh it just happens, and brush it off."

Like Daniel, almost 6 million kids, nearly 30% of all children, are either bullied or are doing the bullying.


Reporter's Notebook: High Rate Of Bullying Alarming
Now - for the first time - the American Academy of Pediatrics is including a section on bullying in its new recommendations for pediatricians.

Those recommendations include: encouraging counseling for children and their families, treating violence related problems and, increasing parents, administrators and teachers' awareness of bullying.

"The biggest misconception in this country is that bullying is normative behavior. That this is just kids being kids and that it really is no big deal," says Dr. Joseph Wright, the lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement.

Dr. Wright cites a study which found that in two-thirds of school shootings - from Columbine to West Paducah, Kentucky - the shooters had been repeatedly bullied.

Another study found 60 percent of bullies in grades 6 through 9 had at least one criminal conviction by age 24.

At the same time, the American Academy of Pediatrics says doctors, parents and teachers shouldn't just focus on the bully and the bullied. They should target the bystanders who witness the bullying.

Teachers are doing that at Walter S. Boardman Elementary School in Long Island, New York. Students are learning how to stand up to bullies.

Sixth-grader Gabriella Gaitan says, "I saw somebody being bullied on the playground. I told the bully how she felt and how I felt and the bully stopped bullying her."

Daniel Warburton made a video about his bullying experience which is now on YouTube.

He says that he "wanted to change something, tell people that's not right, you shouldn't do that."

Daniel's therapy is music. He plays the tuba. It's helped him realize what the pediatrics academy hopes others will get - that he's not the troubled one - the bully is.