November 23rd, 2012
06:00 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Bullying: It Stops Here

Tonight's Emmy-Award winning report is part of a special multi-platform effort aimed at taking a stand to help stop the bullying crisis. Tune in to Anderson's town hall “Bullying: It Stops Here” at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.

If you or someone you know is experiencing bullying or harassment, please reach out for help. Here are some organizations that can assist you:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The Trevor Project

Pacer Center

Learn more about the AC360° initiative and what experts think about the critical bullying problem:

AC360° study: Schoolyard bullies not just preying on the weak

Bullying study infographic

Who would Peter be today?

Take the Stop Bullying: Speak Up pledge

Behind the scenes at Anderson's town hall

Witness to bullying

Fighting bullying through film

A school that promotes LGBT equality

Bullying solutions

The battle to end bullying

What adults need to know to end bullying

These teens stood up to bullies

The reason children become bullies

Bullying: It stops here snapshots

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Bullying
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Kerry Fitzgerald

    I missed the first part of the town hall on bullying and am trying to find it On Demand and online. Any suggestions? I want to see the first part especially but wouldl ike my daughter to watch the whole thing. Help?

    November 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  2. Bill

    I wish the panel for this show had been classroom teachers, but I do realize you need celebrities to help gain an audience. I taught English in a middle school for 37 years and saw a good amount of bullying during that course of time. I have to defend myself and my fellow teachers for being on the front line and dealing with it head on. However, that is where I saw it stop. Most administrators in my town and the neighboring towns consisted of a good 'ol boys network of former football coaches with macho attitudes who felt that boys who couldn't defend themselves were just weaklings and needed to become "men" at the ages of 11 to 14. On the opening day of school each year we'd get the standard speech about how wonderful our anti-bullying policy was, and the kids would sit in the auditorium and just smirk at what was being said because they new it was a joke – all talk, no action. The last incident I witnessed before I retired was the principal calling one of our students who was being bullied "just a geek. "Those were the exact words – I was not the only witness to that. Whenever we would try to deal with a situation, we got no support from the administrative level. We were on our own. I've personally heard principals say that they did not want to deal with the parents. We'd say, "That's your job! It's what you're being paid over a hundred thousand dollars a year to do." I see little hope for bullied kids until the administrative culture changes. With their macho attitudes that they've brought from the athletic fields to the running of a school they are not creating a place where kids feel safe and welcome. No wonder there are kids who dread the dawn of a new day and have to go to school. The anti-bullying policy in our school was just an exercise in PR.

    November 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  3. Donna narmada

    I was bullied by children in the presence of their parents/guardians.it was on going thing when ever I was out .

    November 25, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  4. Teresa Brackett

    All schools. government offices, jails, prisons even businesses should be view in full sight and sound by 3 levels of intellegence so as to ensure all lives and is treated fairly. I have lived ithrough bullying and continuously seen it throughout my life. It is in many forms, on all levels and the only way to stop it is rewind play listen and fix it so it never goes with just a word against a word of a who saw what when and where. Better to say there it is I see it I hear it now what to do about it now that is the real question. God gave his only begotten sun so that all would have light; Therefore in the light of iternity what does being viewed and heard at work, jail or business matter. The matter is fair on all levels.

    November 25, 2012 at 3:12 am |
  5. Sandi

    One What still amazes me is how everyone wants to put blame on everyone one else and point fingers yet no one is willing to say Cut the crap we have a major problem and how do we fix it? However everyone one wants it fixed but not to many if any have the answer WELL I DO!!! There is a gentleman who has 3 books and a full school curriculum by the name of Robert Renteria the books go from K through 12 as well as colleges. This is one of its kind you cant get any better than this as far as the right tools for our children, our future generations and adults!! How can we hope the future will get better if we dont give our children the tools they desperatly need!!! I challenege CNN and AC360 to get Robert Renteria on as a guest and listen to what he has to say He is a pioneer of his time I as well as a lot of people have heard the word "Hope" used recently well you want to see real hope put the books in the hands of our children and watch hope wash over their faces!!

    November 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  6. Marti

    I just watched the special. I agree with everything that was said. I believe something was left out. My son was bullied by a female student at his school on facebook, by text and in person. She was not only threatening my son but our family as well. Fellow students would confirm her behavior with the Vice Principal. I spoke with her family they begged me to report her to the police so she could get help.I reported everything to the police. I even showed them the texts. The police never did anything. The school district was awesome. They did everything they could legally do. He attempted suicide 3 times and was hospitalized on and off for almost two years. The student who said that comments stick with the child going forward is right on. It replays in there mind over and over torturing them. My son is alive and I know it is because of many doctors and school officials that got him the help he needed to keep safe until he could work through this. The police totally dropped the ball. It is heartbreaking that we finally get the schools willing to help but the police are not on board.Thank you to AC360 and all involved to keep this at the forefront.

    November 24, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  7. Gordon Bell

    I mispelled the word "Used" and "Intelligently in my previous post.

    November 24, 2012 at 1:58 am |
  8. Gordon Bell

    I successfully handled bullying as a kid. Then, as an adult I learned a communication skills technology and sued much of it to teach presentation skills in Fortune 500 companies. I TAUGHT MY DAUGHTER HOW TO HANDLE IT AND SHE ROSE TO BECOME STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT IN MIDDLE SCHOOL!

    PKEASE READ CAREFULLY. I can show you how to stop bullying easily and quickly through teaching exercises or drills that virtually never fail to work.

    I would be willing to donate my time to prove this to you so do feel free to contact me. WE CAN END THIS INTELLIGENTYL NOW!

    November 24, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  9. David Gomez

    Hi Anderson (or should this be Mr. Cooper),
    I watched your show on bullying tonight, some of which I have seen before. There were many insights and excellent comments by the panel discussing the problem, but it seems to me that something is being overlooked.
    All of the discussions centered on the bullies and the victims, and their parents.
    It seems to me that you are ignoring a very significant population, the peers of the aggressor and the victim. These "kids" are entirely socially aware. They may not be totally mature in their actions, but they are capable of controlling their own social environment. Just 1 or 2 "John Wayne" types in the group could cause some of the "in" crowd to befriend and defend the victims, which would change the social dynamic within the group.

    November 23, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  10. Gerry

    I am 62 y.o. Watching the show tonight often brought tears to my eyes both because I again felt the pain of being bullied for years and for the kids who are bullied now. It breaks my and enrages me that this continues to be so rampant. The pain is the same now as before. What enrages me is the adult response, for the most part, remains the same and the hate continues to be taught. I would be very, very happy to speak with anyone.

    November 23, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  11. Sema

    I was bullied. From grade 3 to 6, Howard s. called me contamination. It changed my life. To this day I do not react well to bullies. This has to end.

    November 23, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  12. John

    This is a major issue in schools today. Here's an example of a District working hard to eradicate bullying through education, prevention, intervention, discipline, and counseling for kids to work through it all. Gateway to Success – Alhambra Unified School District in East LA. It works. Check it out.

    November 23, 2012 at 10:53 pm |

    II am in Sydney, Australia, watching your show Bullying – It Stops Here. There is a panacea to all human miss-behavior but mankind has a history of turning a blind eye to the source of that cure. Mankind seems to have a historical preference of consulting man-made idols with prefixes and suffixes to their names. For example, if I wanted to learn about meditation I would want to go to the ultimate infallible authority on the subject, rather than stopping short with a fellow fallible human. Without disrespecting your panel of experts, from my position of advantage looking from outside the USA inwards, nothing that has been discussed will provide you a lasting solution to bullying. Bullying is a flaw in character. Character is best built when it has current Spiritual emanations. When you banned religion from your schools, the Divine Assayer's classrooms for character building were effectively shut in the faces of your children. Then your children's mothers abdicated their God-given role as first and primary educators in pursuit of self serving careers. It should not surprise you that you have cultivated generations whose spiritual DNA manifests flawed character. This problem is not exclusive to you. It is a failure of the Family of Man. Obama might want to pay your mothers to stay home and nurture your babies through their formative years. Then you will have generations born with the noble characteristics which distinguishes and elevates the human from the lower kingdoms. It is an imperative that our children are told the differences between the human kingdom, the animal kingdom, the vegetable kingdom and the mineral kingdom. Then they might understand that to bully is to descend below the animal kingdom.

    November 23, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  14. Hilda

    Anderson thank you for making this program. As a psychiatry resident I see a lot of children admitted to hospital who report getting bullied as one of the main underlying cause of their depression, anger, anxiety etc. A lot of them feel suicidal due to this and I have heard story of a 9 y/o girl who commuted suicide just because getting bullied. We really need to stop it though it's not easy and a lot of factors contributing to it.

    November 23, 2012 at 10:20 pm |

    Hi Fred I saw the show tonight and it brings back anger feelings because I am being bullied at work by a company that preaches code of ethics and how you are to act and treat your coworkers but yet they allow their managers to treat people with no respect . My manager has been bullying me since I brought up an health issue that was having an effect on everyones health in the dept bought 35 people were working in a facility contaminated with black mold. Manager told me I would pay for bringing it up and getting samples of the mold to show I was correct.He has retaliated against me demoting me cutting pay 30,000 dollars harassed ,embarrassed, and the ethics group has allowed it to continue because they know I am correct and I have even discussed to the ethics group about feeling like being bullied from school days when you go home and you can't sleep you have night sweats . I am now being treated for PTSD and have seen many Drs trying to get over this . When you see people like at Columbine or and you have been abused like this you really can't blame these victims .Everyone has different feelings and different reactions .What are your thoughts? Could this be a work related cause of illness?

    November 23, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  16. Allison

    I agree with Dr. Phil we need to work on the parents as well as the schools. Maybe what the schools need to do is implement tougher consequences on the bullies that would force their parents to start addressing the issues at home. Why should the kids who are being bullied have to leave the school system, the bullies should be the ones who are forced out. If we start addressing this by forcing parents to do the right thing maybe society as a whole will start to recognize the brevity of the issue.

    November 23, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  17. JD

    I have taught K-college. You will find the truth about a school talking to the SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS. I did subbing. Kids bully subs. In one school, 15 years ago, I had a bully in the classroom, in which I subbed. I called the admin through speaker wall system, and nothing was done about the bully because his mother was a teacher in the school. I found out the problem was the admin gave NO SUPPORT to subs. In other words, my conclusion is as I saw in show. Teachers NEED FULL SUPPORT OF ADMIN. Teachers are the ELDERS in the room. Without each and every teacher given full support, there is NO CONTROL in the school. Dr. Phil is in denial. In the case I cited, a TEACHER in the school ALLOWED their own student to be a bully. Talking to parents will do NOTHING. You must run a school closer to the military, as it used to be, with teacher with authority. When PC entered the classroom, and student rights became the norm, the CONTROL was left out and the problems have exacerbated. I SUGGEST YOU DO A SHOW WITH SUB TEACHERS ABOUT BULLYING. SUBS ARE BULLIED AS MUCH AS STUDENTS. SUBS LEAVE SCHOOLS CRYING because the admins treat subs worse than the bullies. Subs get no control and no respect from admins. Subs are your eyes into a school.

    November 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • JD

      On any one day in any school, SUBS are running a lot of classes. Unless subs are treated as part of the authority echelon of teachers, which they are not as they are glorified baby-sitters, then that portion of the school is run by the bullies when SUBS are in classes or monitoring halls or study rooms or doing lunchroom duties.

      November 23, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  18. cheryl nesbitt

    Powerful show! My heart is so sad for the beautiful children on your show tonight. The band Shinedown wrote an amazing song with lyrics that are profound, BULLY. Please listen to the song. I love that you stand for truth and use your voice to bring awareness on very important issues. God bless you for speaking on behalf of those who's voices will never be heard.

    November 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
  19. Fred

    We need to equate LGBT slurs to racist slurs and general offensive terms

    November 23, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  20. Fred

    Yes, ...it's important to know that bullying goes on throughout our society, work places, neighborhoods and amongst all age groups. I work in healthcare mgmt and was a therapist for many years,...worked in community, veterans and prisons. ....I cannot tell you how many bullies there are spanning the age range. Many develop personality issues (yes you can use the chicken or the egg) that's why it's important we protect victims, yet work with families and children and young people committing these behaviors and displaying these traits. If worked on at an early age...success rates are much greater!

    November 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  21. David

    I am so sorry that bullying is such a problem, | am disabled spent all my school years being bullied, I could not go to college due to the fact I had enough bullying, today I have no job, I work seasonal at a private golf club, I work in the kitchen from the time I start work till the time I leave, I am picked on, harassed and bullied. Yes it hurts but you and the world have to understand that BULLYING DOES NOT STOP. This is the world. if the kids are put in the "perfect world" and then they entered the real world, the will go into shock. I know bullying is wrong lets try and wipe it out. I hope we can but doubt it can or will be

    November 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  22. Janet

    Great program. We need more of this program on a regular basis. Excellent forum by Anderson Cooper. Please pursue this subject. Dr Phil has good advice. We need more action by parent, teachers, principals to work with these kids. The bullies have problems that need addressed as well as the victims. that we must remember. Take care of both sides of the bullying. My heart goes out to the daily effort for these kids to exist. Good work Anderson. Keep it up!!!!

    November 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  23. Donna Ashdown

    Great show, there needs to be more like this. But am a bit confused with Jane Lynch. How can you be against the bullying, yet play a character on T who is one of the biggest bully's ever. Her character says its ok to be the big bully.

    November 23, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  24. Mike Singer

    These children need to be taught they have rights. We as parents and bystanders need to instill confidence. Confidence through good parenting and physical prowess. We have forgotten that our children are very important. It is not the governments responsibility. It is the responsibility of every american to secure their rights of life , liberty and the pursuit of happiness legally. Self defense is defined differently in each state. If the weak were made confident they would not be highlighted as victims.

    November 23, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  25. Fred

    Great subject. Glad Anderson is providing a forum for this. Thank God Kelly Ripa is not on panel but in audience, yet you can still here her narcissistic cackle!

    November 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  26. Paul;

    Unfortunately, bullying doesn't stop after school. I'm still considered an outsider where I went to Catholic school as I was the only one in my class that after grade school went to the neighboring high school from my "friends". Even though I'm actively involved in the parish where the school was based, I still get the "who does he think is is" when I participate as one of the liturgy ministers (basically taking the masses no one else wants, like Easter week, the 2 1/2 hour Christmas vigil mass among others). Even at 52 it still hurts.

    November 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm |