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Standing up to bullies

​​​​Sarah Murphy is in a great position to see bullying at its worst. As a sixth-grade English teacher at John Muir Middle School in Wausau, she sees the cruelty students can show to each other at school, and now especially in social media.

"About 90 percent of it is in cyber bullying, which allows students to say a lot crueler things than they would face-to-face," she said.

Bullying can cause both physical and psychological scars for children, according to Michael Miller, Ph.D.​, a Marshfield Clinic psychologist. "With younger children the physical signs, such as stomach aches, lack of appetite and restless sleep are more evident. In older children and teens, the problems tend to be more psychological in nature."

Home is no longer a "safe zone" for a child who is bullied. With the internet and cell phones, bullies are able to reach their victims anywhere and anytime.

Miller said it is essential that we pay attention to the problem of bullying. "A good method is to get bystanders involved in supporting the child who is being bullied," he said. "Once a bystander steps in to speak up and make it clear 'we don't do that in our school,' the victim sees needed support and the bully sees a team of resistance,"