By Liz Carey, Nikie Mayo
ANDERSON — A Clemson University professor says bullying in schools is not any worse now than it was years ago, but more people are paying attention to it and its effects on students’ mental health.
Susan Limber, a professor with the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life at Clemson University, will talk Thursday about how much researchers have learned about bullying and its effects on children. Limber will speak to the Anderson County chapter of Mental Health America at noon at the Hospice of the Upstate on Rogers Road.
Bullying, she said, doesn’t just affect its victims, but affects a whole school.
“We know that lots of kids say they worry about bullying, even if they are not bullied themselves,” she said. “Seeing bullying going on can not only distract kids from the primary reason they are in school — to learn — but cause anxiety about whether or not it will happen to them, and concerns over whether or not they should be doing something about it.
“It can breed a sense of unease, anxiety and discomfort in students that permeates the school’s atmosphere. It can create a really toxic environment in a school.”
Limber is nationally known for her research on the legal and psychological issues related to youth violence, child protection and children’s rights. Part of her speech will cover the results of a bullying-related survey of 500,000 students in third through 12th grades.
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