If you're viewing on the ABC10 App, tap here for multimedia.
The suspension of a Florin High teen who says he was fighting back against bullies who attacked him has raised this question: What should students do to defend themselves from bullies without getting physical?
Most schools, including Elk Grove Unified School District where the recent incident occurred, have a "zero-tolerance" policy for violence, meaning if a student fights back in self-defense they, too, will face consequences.
Dr. Andrew Mendonsa, a psychologist who works with children, said children should keep in mind that self-defense does not have to mean physical violence.
"Children do have a right to defend themselves, but they have a right to defend themselves in the sense of escaping a situation," Mendonsa explained.
"If someone has their hands around their neck, they have a right to break free of those holds," he added. "But then again, breaking free and then engaging in the situation, unfortunately, is going to be seen as being an aggressor."
Mendonsa says parents should remind their kids to know their surroundings. He said students should find ways to stay away from places on campus where bullying often happens. He also said it's important for students to find a safe person on campus that they can trust and talk to. And for parents and students to alert teachers to school bullies.
"The only way a bully will be addressed and handled is if the school and school district knows what's going on," he said.
Even so, Mendonsa acknowledged that once an attack happens, the policies in place don't always take into account the gray areas and that more needs to be done to address the issue.
"Unfortunately, when there are bullies we just say, 'Go get an adult, get out of the situation,' and then let the administration deal with the bully," he said. "But we never really empower this kid to really, like, how do you stand up for yourself?"
The Elk Grove Unified School District told us in the coming months they plan to implement a new system that will allow students to anonymously report instances of bullying and harassment.
In addition, UNICEF has just launched a new campaign to end violence in schools. They say 1 in 3 students age 13 to 15 are bullied and that the same number are involved in physical fights. UNICEF is asking young people to take a survey to help figure out ways to solve the problem. You can participate here.
Continue the conversation with Liz on Facebook.