Fruita Middle School working to tackle bullying

FRUITA, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Bullying is unwanted contact and can happen in verbal, electronic and physical forms.

According to, nearly 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying.

"We want them to know that we are there to help them in any way we can,” said Fruita Middle School Principal Brig Leane. "It's a hard age being an adolescent,” said Leane.

More than 600 students go to Fruita Middle School and the principal said that they see about two to three bullying cases a week.

"We want to give them all the tools to make them successful and navigate life,” said Leane.

"I wish we could see every incident that takes place in the building but we can't. We are vigilant and our staff does an outstanding job of building relationships with kids," he said. "So they feel confident and safe to tell when something doesn't seem right, but it does happen."

But that leaves some parents worried.

"I’m not sure what to do. I think this bullying needs to come to a stop,” said Lori Fitzpatrick who said her son has been the victim of bullying.

Fruita Middle's principal said the staff is doing all they can to prevent bullying from getting out of control.

"Every incident that is reported to us via any system we look into thoroughly,” said Leane.

The school counselors have yearly meetings with students to talk about bullying and said it's best for students to talk openly with their teachers.

“If an incident turns out to be bullying we sometimes separate kids, we sometimes do check ins and check out with kids on a daily basis," Leane said. "We occasionally have to do a no-contact contract between two kids where they are just not allowed to have contact with each other for a little while."

They want parents to talk with their kids. The district encourages students to speak out whether that's telling a teacher, a friend, parent, or safe 2 tell at 1-877-542-7233.

"These kids are great. They deserve a good life, they deserve an education and deserve to be loved,” said Fitzpatrick.

The school has a confidential mailbox allowing students to submit comments anonymously.

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