'The Bully Test:' What would your child do? - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

'The Bully Test:' What would your child do?

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If you saw someone getting bullied, what would you do?

Ninety percent of 4th- through 8th-graders report getting bullied. Odds are, your child is getting bullied.

As parents, we all hope our child will do the right thing. But when it comes time, will they?Their stories are raw...and very real...

"They said I was ugly, they said horrible things, they stole my stuff."

"I was verbally and physically abused almost everyday. It got to the point where I had to be home-schooled for a year.

"I have so many friends who are like me -- nerdy and geeky - and nobody wants to be friends with them."

"I was bullied since 3rd grade. People call me ugly, fat thunder thighs. I got a lot of nicknames. It would happen daily, like every day, always being called fat or ugly."

Their pain is dark and deep.

"It was really hurtful. It made me feel terrible. It led me to do some really bad stuff. At some point, there was a girl in my class with the same name as me. She was known as the pretty one and I was the ugly one. I couldn't take it, so I overdosed. Had to go to the hospital and stay overnight."

The aftershock of bullying leaves a life-long imprint with physical and psychological consequences.

"It increases their anxiety, questions self worth, self esteem drops, they stay home, isolate themselves, by one bullying incident," said therapist Bob Boezinger.

There will always be a bully. Always. There is always going to be a person who needs that power.

Forget about the bully. We need to focus on the bystanders – all of those people who see it happen – they need to help shut it down.

And that's why we wanted to put these kids to the test – with their parents' permission – would they stand up for someone who is getting bullied?

Meet Alex and Emmy – they're both actors with the Black Hawk Children's Theater.

After I leave, in a room of the peers, Alex starts to bully Emmy -- with KWWL cameras hidden and recording.

You can hear other conversations continuing to take place – even as Emmy is telling Alex to stop.

Three minutes pass.

Two people took a stand, who were willing to speak up. Two. In a room full of other kids.

"I saw her start to cry and her face turned red and I couldn't believe it -- we were at the bullying thing. I thought it was right to stand up. I saw you get up and get closer. Yeah."

The reality sets in and the kids reveal why they didn't take a stand.

"I knew I should have said something, then I got sick of it. It's hard."

You feel like they're going to switch it on you? "Yeah. It's hard, because I don't want to be the one to get bullied. But I know it's right to stand up."

"I just didn't want to get into a fight because when you get into something like that...pretty bad."

"I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want him turning onto me, not just her."

Bullying can be stopped. But it is going to take a conversation. And that conversation needs to start at the dinner table.
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