(FOX 11) - It's a staggering number: half of all adolescents have experienced bullying one way or the other.
As we continue our series, 'Caring for Parents Caring for Kids', Marla Tellez has the story of one San Pedro boy whose personal tragedy brought out the worst in a few of his classmates.
Overcoming a bully. It’s not easy, but it is possible. Just ask Dominic Hoskins.The bullies began targeting the San Pedro teenager when he was in second grade simply because he was emotional, but for a reason no child should have to process.
Dominic’s Dad died unexpectedly. The relentless name-calling and taunting from fellow classmates led Dominic to depression and anxiety.
Dominic’s mother, Katherine Razo, saw the warning signs and immediately contacted his school.
Fortunately, Taper Avenue Elementary in San Pedro has a “zero-bullying” policy and soon after disciplinary action was taken and one of Dominic’s bullies was expelled.
Dr. Shannon Wasley, an Assistant Psychology Professor at the Chicago School of Professional
Psychology in Los Angeles, says bullying peaks between 6th and 9th grades.
Her advice to parents: ask questions, get involved, and get the school involved, too.
Today, 13-year-old Dominic has overcome much of his anxiety and depression through therapy and music.
He says “I found an instrument that I really like to play. I listened to music and I played music. And it really helped me in the end.”
As for other kids who may be experiencing what he did, Dominic has these words of wisdom: “Reach out to a parent, to an administrator, to your principal, to your teacher, to a friend even… Just hold in there because it will get better.”