The possible negative effects of bullying have many Laurens County parents concerned, but they say they're out of options for reporting the problems.
While bullying isn't a crime, Laurens County's head of law enforcement says he's concerned for the county's students.
“He'll come home with bruises here, he'll come home with it on his ribs, on his side where they shove him against the wall or into something,” Holly Self said.
Her sixth grader Austin says he knows firsthand about bullying at West Laurens Middle School.
“I have to fight with him every morning to get him to go to school,” Self said. “He cries and he'll argue, 'Mama, if I go to school now, they're going to pick on me today.”
Self says she’s done everything that she can to stop it from happening.
“I’ve talked to the principals I've talked to the teachers, I've talked to the counselors, I’ve talked to the board of education,” Self said. “That’s all what us parents can do.”
Laurens Sheriff Larry Dean says there's one more thing parents can do to help their child.
“Once they bring a problem to us, we let the school handle it by their protocol,” Dean said. “They bring it to us through our resource officers, and then we take action. If something criminally happened, we send investigators and they investigate.”
He says they have a great working relationship with the school system. Resource officers, who are deputies, are in the schools every day.
Dean says his office and the school district are concerned about students' safety.
“I think some of the instances that have been brought out here lately is a bunch of kids playing around,” Dean said. “Now there’s been some bullying instances that I’ve been made aware of within the last 48 hours, but some of these problems go back to last year.”
As for Self, she just wants some relief for her son soon, or she says she'll go to school with him.
“Be with him all day long and make sure that he does not get bullied or picked on anymore,” Self said.