When a teen or child is bullied, they are between two and nine times more likely to take their own life.That’s why it is so important for future teachers to learn about bullying, and more than 20 undergraduate students in the University of Alabama special education program got a head start on state-mandated teacher training program Tuesday. The goal getting tomorrow’s teachers a better understanding of bullying, along with tools and resources so they can take action.Matthew Klein, a special education major at the University of Alabama, said there has been a dramatic increase in bullying. This is important to keep in mind, according to Klein, because as educators they will interact with students daily.“Bullying obviously affects a student’s ability to perform in school,” said Klein. “Because if you don’t feel safe and respected in class, then learning is going to become second because your physical and emotional well-being are going to come first.”Teachers have a large impact on students and with proper tools they can create a healthy environment for students within the classroom. Associate professor Sara McDaniel said that it is a good idea for all teachers and teacher candidates to know how to identify and handle bullying.“We want to make sure our special educators definitely know how to identify these things and then interventions and resources,” said McDaniel. “And it’s probably a good idea for all teachers and teacher candidates to know, but for this group specifically.”McDaniel explained bullying comes in a variety of forms. Most people are familiar with physical bullying, but there’s also verbal and relational bullying which are not as easy to identify. Understanding what counts as a power imbalance among children is one of the most important parts of identifying bullying.Alabama students were taught specific things they could do to identify students at risk. While school districts do provide this training to their teachers, the faculty at Alabama believe learning these skills gives future teachers a better chance to battle bullies and save lives.If you would like to learn more about how you can help stop bullying, you can visit stopbullying.gov for more information.