Fri., April 13, 2012 3:45pm (EDT)

Spotlight Shines On Bullying
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 2 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
17-year old Georgia teenager Tyler Long who took his own life in 2009 after years of alleged bullying (photo courtesy Long Family)
17-year old Georgia teenager Tyler Long who took his own life in 2009 after years of alleged bullying (photo courtesy Long Family)
A new documentary, premiering in Atlanta features a Murray County family who’s son took his own life. The case of school bullying shined the spotlight on a widespread problem.

17-year old Tyler Long died in 2009. His parents say the school system did little to help him. In 2010 Georgia lawmakers updated the state’s bullying law. Schools are now required to provide a way to report bullying, investigate, notify the parents of the accused and the victim, and discipline students who are found guilty.

Gary McGiboney with the Georgia Department of Education says they’ve been inundated with requests for training for everyone from school bus drivers to principals.

“It seemed that it had finally had come to the realization to people that bullying was a widespread problem and while it did escalate into certain cases where there was a lot of media attention the problem had been there for quite a while.

McGiboney says the most effective programs are those that alter overall school climate and encourage positive behaviors.