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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Bullying is a serious epidemic in the U.S. which can have some negative impacts on your child’s physical health as well as their emotional well-being.

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine states it’s time to finally recognize bullying as a serious public health issue. Bullying should no longer be dismissed as merely a matter of kids being kids.

According to the report, being bullied has obvious mental and emotional repercussions including depression and anxiety.

Physically it can lead to gastrointestinal issues and headaches. Bullies themselves are also negatively impacted by their own behavior. They are more likely to struggle with depression and move on to criminal activity like vandalism and theft.

Many schools have a zero-tolerance policy, suspending or even expelling bullies.

The report says this policy does not work and may actually do more harm than good because it doesn’t provide the skill training or replacement behaviors for youth who are suspended or expelled. Instead, the report states, schools should help bullies change their behavior through continual education and positive feedback. This will help them build emotional intelligence.

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