For some kids, bullying doesn't stop during summer break. It can happen at summer school, summer camp, in the neighborhood, or online.

Few people will admit they were the bully. However, Tnanita Hatley will.

"My crew, we all thought we was rappers," Hatley said. "We was gonna be the next MC Lyte. I had the Salt-N-Pepa haircut, you know, and some girls didn't have the Salt-N-Pepa haircut so we bullied them."

It took a move to Minnesota for her to stop.

"I tried to fit in and the tables turned and I got talked about because of the way I spoke, the way my hair was," she said.

Hatley now works for the YMCA as a program manager. She often shares her story with young people.

"Having the conversation, the dialogue about bullying is important," executive director Matt Kjorstad said.

He says the conversation is important not only when school is in session but year-round.

"Now that we're in summer, we have young people that are in programs that are in the community, not just in schools," he said.
Kjorstad says parents with a child enrolled in a summer program should ask the leaders how they offer support.

But what about bullying in the neighborhood, or online, where an adult isn't always around?

"When they're out in the community, two blocks away from a young person who may have bullied them in the past, we can't stop that from happening," Kjorstad said. "But what we can do is work with our child around, 'How do I respond?'"

He says there are options.

"Calling that out is really important," Kjorstad said. "So, 'Why are you bullying me?'"

Otherwise, he says, seek a better environment.

"Go with a friend somewhere or go to a place where you have relationships," Kjorstad said.

At the PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center, there are free resources for families. You can find them online.

"It might be good to go on one of those websites with your child before they go to summer camp or start at a new summer program to talk about what bullying is, what are some steps they can do not only if they experience it but if they witness it as well," coordinator Bailey Lindgren said.

The YMCA has offered workshops, but Kjorstad and Hatley say anti-bullying efforts need to become culture. Year round.

"The girls that we bullied, I never got to say I'm sorry," Hatley said. "I never got to say, you know what, you are special. You are beautiful in your own right."
Lindgren says kids often show signs they're being bullied, including changes in behavior. They may become more irritable, anxious, or stressed. It can also affect their appetite. Lindgren says kids doing the bullying may show similar signs.

Minneapolis Public Schools says many of its summer schools have introduced "morning meeting" or some other way to build community and reinforce what means to be good and kind to one another. Summer school includes a well-trained social worker available to consult with school staff and families should incidents occur.