By Geena Martinez
MIDLAND - Whether it's a push in the hallway or a nasty message online, bullying can have serious effects on a child.
The Midland Police Department is joining forces with the Midland Independent School District to educate students about bullying, and to let the bullies know, it can have serious consequences for them too.
"If we can be proactive instead of reactive then that's what we want," Officer Jimmy Young said. "We want to stop the problem before it starts."
Young is with the MPD Crime Prevention Unit and he said bullying is an age old issue that's on the rise, so much, that his department was asked to step in.
"I'm getting these calls from the counselors that they're needing our presence in the school and we're glad to do it," he said. "We want to be seen in these schools."
For the next few weeks, officers are visiting local elementary schools to talk to students about bullying and just how serious it is.
"When someone has a bodily injury, that's assault, that's a class A misdemeanor," Young said. "When you're calling someone and harassing them, that's harassment. Just threatening someone is assault by threat."
And bullying doesn't stop once the school bell rings. Officers are also tackling another issue.
"You watch it on the world news all the time where kids kill themselves because of cyber bullying," Young said. "There's a false Myspace about someone and they couldn't take the harassment."
Officer Young hopes after talking to these kids, they'll be able to speak up if they ever become victims to bullying.
"Tell a counselor, tell a teacher, tell a police officer, just tell a grown up," Young said.
And for those who like to stir up trouble, he has a stern warning for them too.
"If you still want to be a bully then you're going to end up in jail," Young said.