MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The U.S. Department of Education is urging school administrators across the country to do what they can to stop bullying. One parent says she's not waiting for someone else to solve her child's bullying problem.
Shertitria Toles said her 11-year-old daughter faces constant bullying from a group of girls.
"They're ganging up on her, they're being very verbally abusive, physically abusive. They're emotionally abusing her," Toles said. "My daughter, she's crying now and she really doesn't want to go back to school."
A recent survey found 44% of boys and 50% of girls say they have been bullied.
The U.S. Department of Education put out a letter this week urging school administrators to get a handle on the problem of bullying. The state will also send out a memo of its own. It reminds school districts of the state's policies on bullying, drafted last year.
"It's a community effort," said Michael Sibley, Director of Communication for the Alabama Department of Education. "We need parents, we need teachers, we need superintendents, we need principals to all come together to keep an eye on bullying."
Toles said she's doing just that by meeting with school administrators to alert them to the problem. She hopes other parents in a similar situation will do the same.
"If they're having a problem with their children being bullied, they need to come up and speak out, as I'm doing right now," Toles said.
Montgomery County Schools have an anti-bullying anti-harassment policy in place. Punishment for students can range anywhere from a warning up to and including a suspension.