Smart reactions can help against bullies

With children back in school, now is a good time to discuss bullying.

It's an ongoing problem around the country. It affects the lives of victims, witnesses and the bullies themselves.

The Department of Health and Human Services says as many as 25 percent of students are bullied regularly. Bullying can cause low grades and behavior problems, like kids skipping school.

Here's what you should teach your child:

Always tell an adult in charge if someone acts inappropriately to you or you feel uncomfortable.

If possible, stand up to the bully. Don't start a fight; instead tell the bully to STOP, and then leave. Bullies will often choose victims who they think won't stand up for themselves.

Encourage your child to get involved in school activities in which to meet other kids who share their interests.

Make sure your child knows it is not his or her fault.