ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Bullying was the focus of a meeting Tuesday organized by Albuquerque Public Schools.
District officials say they recognize that something needs to be done to get a handle on the problem. Now they're turning to the public for help.
The problem is how to do that.
APS officials say they regularly get reports of bullying and regularly address it.
But some in the public don't think they're doing a good enough job.
Take Jill Frankel.
"I feel completely blown off by APS," she said.
Last school year her son received hate text messages from another student.
The district suspended the other boy until January. To Frankel's surprise the kid was back in school this year.
APS officials later told KRQE News 13 they determined a long-term suspension wasn't appropriate but never notified Frankel.
Some say that is evidence something is seriously lacking in the district's approach to bullying.
"If everyone in school and the community are doing the same thing, talking the same language accepting the same things and not accepting the same things we can put a dent in this," Kristine Meurer of APS Family and Community Support said.
Meurer said that is the goal of the community meetings, to find out from parents, teachers and community members what they need to do differently.
A big challenge is making sure they address the problem while assuring bullies get the education they deserve.
Also, they have to deal with today's technology.
Bullying is no longer just kids pushing around others on the playground.
"If bullying only happened in the schools, we would probably be able to control it," Meurer said. "It occurs outside of schools, and now with the age of technology it could occur 24/7.
"What are the things that can prevent it?"
Tuesday's meeting was at Sandia High School from 6-8 p.m.
There will be another one Thursday at LBJ Middle School.
Online from KRQE.com for kids and parents: The Bully Project »
Manners matter especially during the holiday season.
You've heard us talk a lot about Toys for Tots and how you can help needy kids in Albuquerque this Christmas.
The final Toys for Tots collections have been made and the generosity of folks around Albuquerque has been great as always.