School Bullying—Distance Learning Can Be Your Child’s Alternative


School Bullying—Distance Learning Can Be Your Child’s Alternative

We’ve all heard about school bullying. Maybe we personally experienced it when we were younger. As parents, we want to make sure our children don’t experience it now.


January 25, 2010

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Schools actually report that in our country, more than a quarter of a million students are physically attacked during the school day and more than 160,000 kids actually miss school, due to bullying and school violence.

In addition to this sad scenario, there is one that is even more threatening. Nearly a million students across the U.S. bring weapons to school every month!

More than 5.7 million young people in the U.S. are estimated to be involved in bullying as either a bully, a target of bullying, or both. Unchecked, bullying can escalate to more serious violence as 75% of school-shooting incidents have been linked to harassment and bullying issues. With a nation shaken by school tragedies, it remains difficult to comprehend what fuels such behavior.

What’s not difficult is assessing the impact on its victims. The tension and anxiety created by bullying is burdening kids with worry. Our hearts go out to these children. Just imagine the dread they feel when they wake up….eat breakfast…get on the bus….knowing what’s ahead of them. The threat they are under affects their concentration, health, relationships and self-worth. It can create social isolation and depression with long term consequences. One out of every 10 students who drop out of school does so because of repeated bullying, and those who are bullied are five times more likely to be depressed and far more likely to be suicidal.

Brock Bowman, a ninth grader living near Columbus, Ohio who found difficulty in the classroom despite his high IQ, found a solution through distance learning. Brock was not thriving in his public school and was labeled ADD. Angie Bowman, Brock’s mother said, “This diagnosis led to Brock being placed in a reading special services program, which only made matters worse. His peers picked on him relentlessly and his self-esteem plummeted.” The stress left him completely exhausted, school became unbearable and they looked into distance learning options. “We found Laurel Springs School, a fully accredited school with caring teachers that eliminated negative social distractions and reignited Brock’s interest in learning,” said Angie.

Families looking for peaceful solutions to bullying are turning increasingly to distance learning educational programs like Laurel Springs School. At Laurel Springs, the focus is on the student’s learning style, interests and passions. Established in 1991, Laurel Springs School now has more than 3,000 active students in 50 states and in 43 countries with a strong college prep academic program. Distance learning in an all-inclusive learning environment creates a place for skill building and mastery without the threat of bullies. Laurel Springs offers web-based and textbook-based curriculum built on state standards. At Laurel Springs School, instruction is targeted to the student’s innate learning style profile; a proactive evaluation of his/her disposition, motivators, interests and learning modalities. No attacks occur. No guns are drawn. Students and families blossom in the natural flow of the learning process.

Nick Marks-Paschal, a Laurel Springs alum, was emotionally shut-down at school even though he demonstrated creative genius outside of the classroom. According to his mother, Shelley Marks, “Nick was put-off by school-wide bullying and antagonizing. He withdrew, not wanting to participate in this dynamic, and others called him “stupid” and “slow”. At Laurel Springs, he took the Learning Styles Profile and the results were an astounding endorsement of him. Nick’s learning style is ‘invent/perform’ – he learns best by discovering, designing and exploring in an independent environment. He was assigned a teacher appropriate for his learning style and together, they designed curriculum to bring out his highest ‘invent’ capacity. “Nick is inspired by the aligned focus of his learning and has a huge digital multimedia design career ahead,” Shelley added.

Distance learning is certainly a growing option with the impact of the Internet, educational software, video learning tools and online communications systems. It began mostly as a higher education convenience for completion of college and continuing educational credits. Now the trend is evolving to support K-12 students.

Schools like Laurel Springs have the college prep, global citizens and the information age in mind and as they bring distance learning programs to K-12 students. By linking students like Brock and Nick with excellent teachers and personalized curriculum, K-12 distance learning provides a realistic educational alternative. Add to that the Laurel Springs virtual clubs and nurturing learning community, and students have an excellent venue for learning.


Laurel Springs has found that online clubs are a wonderful way of building the virtual school community, deepening relationships, and providing students with the opportunity to work collaboratively. Students can develop deep relationships in an online environment that have the school structure and support that keep these online clubs and forums free of online bullying.

Students, parents, counselors, administrators and teachers have begun to recognize that distance learning for K-12 students is transformative–providing talented, tormented kids with a safe haven from the schoolyard bully.

An Option For Your Child